Press release: Fixing Latin America’s social protection system

On the evening of 30 October, Santiago Levy, main architect of Progresa/Oportunidades — Mexico's incentive-based health, nutrition and education programme for the poor — will deliver the 23rd WIDER Annual Lecture.

UNU-WIDER, in collaboration with the Graduate Institute’s Centre for Finance and Development, will host the event at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Social protection plays a fundamental role in tackling poverty and inequality. Programmes have been in place in Latin America for over 75 years, but as a result of extensive informality less than half the working population are covered by contributory social insurance systems. 

Separate social insurance systems are in place for informal workers, but this combination is bad economic and social policy, and plays a significant role in contributing to Latin America’s large informal sector.

How can social insurance systems be redesigned to address informality and provide coverage to all?

‘Latin America’s large informal sector points to a failure of public policy. To reduce informality, countries in Latin America must shift towards universal social insurance’ says Santiago Levy.

Universal social insurance is indispensable for social inclusion. And it will also facilitate business growth, increase investments in training, and lead to more productive job opportunities for all.

During the WIDER Annual Lecture Santiago Levy will discuss the challenges of social protection in the face of informality and make the case for universal social insurance. 

What: WIDER Annual Lecture

When: 30 October 2019

Where: The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2, Geneva, Switzerland

To learn more about the development conference, and see the full programme, click here.


For media inquiries, please contact:

UNU-WIDER in Helsinki, Ruby Richardson +358961599527

UNU-WIDER in Helsinki, Annett Victorero +358961599327