Australia’s development program
Social protection partnerships
The Australian Government works closely with partner governments on their own social protection programs, influencing reforms and helping build more efficient systems to support inclusive growth.
Australia is well placed to help our neighbours strengthen social protection systems, building on our shared interests in a resilient region. We bring global, regional and country-level partnerships, experience and evidence to help ensure our region bounces back as quickly as possible from this crisis.
Social Protection Hub
The Social Protection Hub, supported by the Australian Government, plays an important role in facilitating a global dialogue on social protection, particularly in response to the COVID-19 social and economic crisis. It produces publications, organises events such as webinars and facilitates regional and global knowledge exchange, through www.socialprotection.org.
The Social Protection Hub facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing among partner governments and global experts to influence reform and build more efficient social protection systems to support inclusive growth and poverty reduction.
For example, DFAT commissioned a blog building on existing data, information systems and registration capacity to scale up social protection for COVID-19 response, which you can find on the www.socialprotection.org website along with many other resources on social protection and its important role in COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Regional and global knowledge sharing
From 2015, DFAT has supported a web-based social protection knowledge gateway, socialprotection.org to progress a G20 commitment to facilitate south-south learning on social protection policy and programming. DFAT funded the gateway along with UNDP's International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth and it also receives support from German Cooperation (GIZ).
socialprotection.org collates publications, hosts regular webinars, online discussion fora and communities of practice around specific topics. It also provides practical tools such as 'how to' guides and a glossary of social protection terms. It seeks to contribute to the global evidence base on social protection by sourcing, developing and sharing high quality research, evaluations and policy guidance.
From 2020, Australia has partnered with the Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice helpline (SPACE). SPACE provides governments and their implementing partners with support in thinking through how to maintain or adapt existing systems and programmes to meet rapidly growing social protection needs. Through a multi-disciplinary “ask-the-experts” service, SPACE provides a sounding board to plan, challenge, and innovate COVID-19 responses. SPACE is led by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The Rapid Social Response (RSR), a multi-donor program was established in 2009 to help the world's poorest countries, in partnership with the World Bank, to build effective social protection systems. RSR is supported by the Russian Federation, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden, and the Gates Foundation. Australia’s current support to the RSR-Gender window contributes to projects that develop and promote gender-smart social protection policies, systems and programs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Australia is represented by DFAT on the Social Protection Interagency Co-operation Board (SPIAC-B), a lean and agile inter-agency coordination mechanism composed of representatives of international organisations and bilateral institutions which aims to enhance global coordination on social protection issues. The establishment of the Board responds to a request from the G20 Development Working Group.
DFAT is a proud partner of the Interagency Social Protection Assessments, a set of practical tools that help countries improve their social protection system by analysing its strengths and weaknesses and offering options for further action.