From 14 to 18 May, 21 delegates from workers’ organisations gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for the first WIEGO School training on Social Protection. The programme covered a wide range of issues related to extending coverage and the quality of protection for workers in the informal economy with a specific focus on the financial aspects of social protection. We discussed the building blocks of Social Protection ­– policy frameworks, programme and scheme design, and implementation – public finance management and budget analysis, how to assess financing gaps and estimate costs to propose new schemes and solutions, and arguments to counter harmful narratives on informality and social spending.

As Social Protection gains increasing relevance in global and national policy debates, especially after the Pandemic, coverage has to some extent expanded and policies have become more complex. Analysing Social Protection as a system (beyond the evaluation of individual programmes) allows us to identify gaps in coverage and financing and to define advocacy strategies that take into consideration a life cycle approach to the risks and vulnerabilities that workers face. Workers in the informal economy face multiple exclusions from these systems even though there are several international standards that emphasise the need to protect them such as ILO recommendation 202 on Social Protection Floors. In this context, we discussed the need to find solutions that guarantee SP for workers in the informal economy that are based on progressive and equitable tax systems, solidarity in financing, and the participation of workers’ organisations in the design and governance of public policies.

HNI wants to thank the WIEGO Social Protection team for this invaluable training and the opportunity to get together to discuss a topic that is one of our main priorities. We hope this is the first of many instances to work together on realising the vision that we share as part of the WIEGO/Nets network and achieving inclusive and universal Social Protection for all.