Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme

An initiative of the Cabinet Division and the General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh

Policy Dialogue on National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) Implementation Status and Future Guidance Workshop

In the middle of 2015, the Cabinet of the Government of Bangladesh approved the National Social Security Strategy (NSSS). It is the very first strategy in the field of social protection in Bangladesh. The strategy streamlining the national social safety net programmes in line with the National Social Development Framework and the perspective and vision plans, five-year plans, with an expectation to play an effective supplementary role in reducing poverty and inequality, improve gender status, increase employment opportunities, and address the shock and vulnerability of the climate inducive disabled and marginalized population, including people living in urban and hard-to-reach areas under the human lifecycle approach.

The NSSS is a ten-year-long living social protection reform strategy for Bangladesh commencing from 2015 and will follow up to 2025. The successful implementation of NSSS is one of the priority agendas of the Government of Bangladesh, and the fiscal budget allocated close to 3% of the GDP and more than 16% of the total budget every year.

To date, Bangladesh has achieved tremendous progress in both macro and microeconomic areas. Simultaneously, NSSS guided reforms helped the Government of Bangladesh to initiate a number of notable policy initiatives, namely, addressed COVID-19 vaccination though Surokhkha Aps, universal private pension, social insurance, G2P through institutional e-payment system either through bank account or mobile account, single registry MIS or integrated MISs, data protection, engagement of 39 key ministries to address the social protection though an effective governing system lead by the Cabinet Secretary for policy and programme guidance thorough Central Management Committee (CMC) for Bangladesh Social Protection Programmes, and subsequent different committees constituted by the CMC. Pilot initiatives in progress, namely on old age, persons with disabilities, MISs integration using the National Household Data base and Population Register, social insurance, and constitute of private pension authority.

All these initiatives brough a discipline in the social protection governance and system. Many ghost beneficiaries are eroded from the system, and beneficiary automation in the process link to iBASS system. On the other hand, the Honorable Prime Minister of the Government of Bangladesh took her personal initiative ‘Ashrayon Project’ – the largest project in the world for providing land and house for the homeless people. This largest project addresses the multi-dimension poverty, and its impact will reduce the social and economic inequality of the population. Two subsequent NSSS Action Plans have been developed by the CRVS and Social Protection Section of the Coordination and Reforms Wing of the Cabinet Division though a rigorous process of coordination and participation of 39 ministry and division of the GoB. The Second NSSS Action Plan 2021-26 (Phase – II) approved by the CMC under the Chair of the Cabinet Secretary, and the Honorable Prime Minister of the GoB has given her kind consent on the approval. The NSSS Action Plan Phase II incorporated to develop the NSSS 2026+.

The implementation of both the SDGs and NSSS is spearheaded mainly by the Cabinet Division under its coordination structure through the effective guidance from the Central Management Committee (CMC) of the national social security programmes headed by the Cabinet Secretary, where Secretaries of 39 ministries and divisions are the members.

The Government is committed to attaining the Middle Income Country (MIC) status permanently by 2026, and excelling in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, where social security is also one of the prioritized agendas, and closely linked with most of the goals of the SDGs. At present, the 8th five year plan developed and implementation on progress, and vision 2041, and centennial Delta Plan 2100 on progress and created huge interest among the international community for financing more in Bangladesh development. The blue economy and link to social protection, urban and climate inductive shock-responsive social protection addressing No One Leave Behind (NOLB) lifecycle approach now opened a new chapter for 2026+ social protection. A strategy always required a good number of evidence-based background papers, and lessons learnt, consensus-based dialogues.

Decisions from session one

  1. The General Provident Fund (GPF) policy may be reviewed and revisited in light of social protection  
  2. Private sector should be included in social protection policy measures in next NSSS designing
  3. Dialogue/Consultations may be organized with business regulatory authorities including FBCCI and other business bodies in relation to involving them into social protection
  4. The functionalities and modalities of the thematic clusters on social protection may be revisited
  5. Other governance structure in social protection including different committees should need to be monitored for making them more functional.

Decisions from session two

  1. Social protection databases and MIS/s of the ministries/divisions/departments and other govt. line agencies/offices should be integrated and interoperable.
  2. A meeting of the Secretaries may be called upon with a view to developing a roadmap/plan on how to create data integration and Integrated Single Registry MIS on social protection.
  3. The proposed meeting should involve technical people of the relevant ministries/divisions along with the Secretary/representative of each ministry/division.
  4. NID must be used in any sort of data collection or survey as a unique identifying entity.  
  5. Government needs to develop a policy/guideline on data/MIS for data harmonization and sustainability.

Decisions from session three

  1. A Single Registry should be developed with a unique ID that can served multipurpose of the government as National Registry
  2. Existing MIS and Systems may be considered to find out solutions on developing Single Registry MIS
  3. A National dialogue/consultation may be organized with the relevant ministries/divisions/private sectors/ autonomous sectors/financial sectors to develop.
  4. Union Parishads/Local Government Institutions (LGIs) database/information may be reviewed and examine usability in Single Registry MIS development.

Decisions from session four

  1. Volunteers of various organizations could be mobilized in data collections that may significantly reduce costs, as they are trained and can ensure data quality.
  2. The Ministry of Education possessed a substantial database on the Harmonized Stipend, that could be instrumental in the Single Registry initiative.Top of Form

Key Decisions

a) GPF Policy Review: The General Provident Fund (GPF) policy shall undergo a comprehensive review to enhance its alignment with broader social protection objectives.

b) Private Sector Inclusion: In the forthcoming National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) revision, policy measures shall incorporate the private sector into the social protection framework.

c) Stakeholder Engagement: Structured dialogues and consultations with business regulatory authorities, including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), shall be initiated to discuss their involvement in social protection schemes.

d) Thematic Cluster Modality: The operational functionalities and modalities of thematic clusters dedicated to social protection will be subject to a strategic reassessment.

e) Governance Structure Monitoring: The effectiveness of various governance structures within the social protection domain, including committees, shall be regularly monitored and enhanced.

f) Data Integration Policy: There shall be a unified approach to make social protection databases and Management Information Systems (MIS) across ministries, divisions, and government agencies interoperable and integrated.

g) Secretary Committee Meeting Directive: A meeting of Secretaries shall be convened to devise a strategic roadmap for the development of data integration and an Integrated Single Registry MIS for social protection.

h) Technical Team Involvement: The aforementioned meeting shall include participation from technical experts from relevant ministries and divisions, alongside the Secretaries or their representatives.

i) Unique Identification: The National Identification (NID) shall be mandated for use as the sole identifier in all forms of data collection and surveys.

j) Data Management Policy: A policy or guideline shall be established to ensure the harmonization and sustainability of data and MIS within the government sector.

k) Data and Single Registry : A Data and Single Registry with a unique identification system shall be developed to serve multiple governmental purposes as a National Registry.

l) MIS Solution Exploration: Existing MIS and systems shall be evaluated to identify potential solutions for the development of the Single Registry MIS.

m) National Dialogue Directive: A national dialogue involving key stakeholders from ministries, private sectors, autonomous bodies, and financial institutions shall be organized to contribute to the development process.

n) Union Parishads Database Review: The databases and information held by Union Parishads and Local Government Institutions (LGIs) shall be reviewed for their potential integration into the Single Registry MIS.

o) Election Manifesto Integration: The priorities outlined in the Election Manifesto and National Plans/Strategies shall be central to the next phase of Social Protection planning.

p) Volunteer Mobilization: Volunteers from various organizations shall be mobilized for data collection efforts, leveraging their training to ensure data quality and reduce costs.

q) Educational Database Utilization: The substantial database on the Harmonized Stipend managed by the Ministry of Education shall be leveraged as a key resource in the Single Registry initiative.

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