This policy guide, developed by ESCAP together with Development Pathways, explains the basic principles of social protection and the impact it can have on poverty reduction, social cohesion, economic growth and the environment. It shows how investing in inclusive social protection can accelerate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

The guide is the first in a series of four policy guides developed to support policymakers and practitioners in Asia and the Pacific in their efforts to strengthen social protection. The second guide explains how to design inclusive and robust social protection systems and focuses on tax-financed income security; the third will focus on the effective implementation of inclusive social protection schemes and the fourth will discuss options for financing.