New Open Access Handbook on Social Protection Systems

A new Open Access Handbook on Social Protection Systems features contributions from UNU-MERIT researchers Franziska Gassmann, Tamara Kool and Zina Nimeh, as well as alumni Mira Bierbaum, Victor Cebotari and Eszter Timar.

This Handbook provides a comprehensive and globally relevant overview of the instruments, actors and design features of social protection systems, as well as their application and impacts in practice. It is the first book that centres around system building globally, a theme that has gained political importance yet has received relatively little attention in academia.

Combining academic discussion with cases from the Global South and North, the Handbook offers practical recommendations on how to achieve greater harmonisation across social protection policies, programmes and delivery mechanisms. It also highlights the importance of linkages to other policy fields and issues including taxation, humanitarian aid and livelihood approaches.

UNU-MERIT staff and affiliates co-authored various chapters, including: Systematic approaches to social protection, Coordination of different instruments, Refugees and social protection, Acceptability of social protection reforms, Data and analysis in social protection, and The future of work.

Overall, the Handbook argues that a systems approach is needed to respond to the individual needs of different groups in society and to face future challenges from demographic change, globalisation, automation, climate change and pandemics. Targeting a broad audience – including academics, students and practitioners – the book bridges the divide in academic debate around social protection in the Global South and North.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of United Nations University - MERIT, on Thursday 9 September, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow

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New Open Access Handbook on Social Protection Systems