Designing social protection systems that are effective and equitable, as well as fiscally, financially, and economically efficient, has been both a challenge and a source of substantive debate the world over. Formal social protection systems—that use transfers in cash and in kind—redistribute between 5 percent (in developing countries) and 35 percent (in OECD countries) of their gross domestic product. One of the first volumes of its kind, this book offers a comprehensive overview of the many system financing options available and provides a thorough analysis of their advantages, disadvantages, and financial implications. The most important task of social protection systems is to alleviate and prevent poverty. With this in mind, the book presents a “methodological toolbox” from which social protection planners, managers, and social policy analysts can work. Written by practitioners for practitioners, it discusses the design and maintenance of national social protection systems that ensure an effective and efficient use of available resources at the community, national, and international levels while supporting long-term economic development. Each chapter includes real-life examples that deal with the theory as well as practical policy questions. The book also guides readers through the policy process that determines the desirable levels and scope of social protection in a given country. This publication is part of the Quantitative Methods in Social Protection series which is co-published by the ILO and the International Social Security Association.