Social Security for the Excluded Majority

Case Studies of Developing Countries

Wouter van Ginneken
Release Date: November 1, 1999

The large majority of workers in developing countries are excluded from social security protection. Social Security for the Excluded Majority examines this problem in Benin, China, El Salvador, India, and the United Republic of Tanzania. This book pleads for a participatory approach to the extension of social security and explores ways in which governments and organizations can come together to create practical, workable policies to bring social security protection to all.

Through a series of detailed case studies compiled by an international array of policy experts, this book looks closely at the workings of self-financed schemes for informal workers that emerged in the 1990s, and highlights the schemes that have been most beneficial. It focuses on how NGOs, cooperatives, and other social organizations have been able to develop institutions and policies more in line with the requirements and contributory capacity of the informal sector.

The authors evaluate various approaches to the extension of formal sector social insurance to informal sector workers, including the self-employed. In addition, they explore how social assistance programs, although often requiring sophisticated administration, can help ensure that benefits reach the population most in need, such as children, the disabled, and the elderly.