Goals and target group

The goal of the project is to help establish integrated social security systems and to extend coverage to groups of people who have hitherto been excluded from social protection. The main target groups are poor families and those threatened with poverty. These include households experiencing acute economic and social crises (e.g. illness, loss of employment or income) or deprivation for other reasons (e.g. people with disabilities).



  • Policy advice on the introduction and reform of social security systems, taking due account of existing programmes and structures
  • Methodological support in the expansion of existing social protection systems to include the poorest and most deprived population groups
  • Development and implementation of mechanisms to strengthen the solidarity principle, together with other core elements of social protection (subsidiarity, participation, etc.)
  • Competence building for decision-makers and executives by means of seminars, training programmes and international conferences
  • Development of technical management tools (InfoSure, SimIns and CHIC) for use by experts and executives
  • Continuous observation and evaluation of developments in social and health policy in different countries and regions
  • Documentation of experience with social protection gained from projects and programmes receiving German support.


The priorities of the “Social Protection Systems” project are social health insurance and basic social security.

The project is guided by a vision of integrated social security systems that provide comprehensive social protection to the widest possible range of population groups. This encompasses people’s right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or any other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control, as enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The implication of this for our work is that special attention must be paid to the needs of the most disadvantaged groups of people.

The relevance of the theme to development policy is its bearing on the social inclusion of poor households and those at risk of poverty. Acute economic and social crises, resulting for example from illness, incapacity to work and loss of income, can be alleviated if families have functional social security networks to fall back on.

The central components of support are policy advice and technical consultancy, initial and further training, networking with national and international organisations, strategic and conceptual work and knowledge management.


Related themes

Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) is an approach designed to investigate the distributional effects of planned policy reforms on the prosperity of different population groups, with a central focus on poor and vulnerable groups. The systematic application of PSIA helps to amplify the positive impacts of sectoral, structural and macroeconomic reforms and to minimise their negative impacts.

Poverty Reduction Project
The cross-sectoral Poverty Reduction Project helps BMZ and the organisations implementing Development Cooperation to align their development policy activities more effectively with the Millennium Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals, and the partner countries’ poverty reduction strategies.

As a response to inadequate social security provision in most partner countries, microinsurance schemes have been gaining in importance for a number of years. These are local or regional insurance initiatives seeking to introduce solidarity-based risk protection. A variety of models offering protection against illness and disability, death (by accident or natural causes), loss of housing or production inputs (insurance for property including livestock, sometimes also crop failure) have been proven to play a useful role in a tiered system of coverage based on subsidiarity.


Jean-Olivier Schmidt
Phone: +49 (0)6196 79 1549
Fax: +49(0)6196 79 80 1549