The social protection floor and global social governance: Towards policy synergy and cooperation between international organizations


  • Bob Deacon

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
    • Address for correspondence: Bob Deacon, Emeritus Professor of International Social Policy, University of Sheffield, Sociological Studies Department, Sheffield, S102TU, United Kingdom; Email:

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This article addresses the influence of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on other international organizations and global agencies which resulted in their endorsement of the Social Protection Floor (SFP) concept. By 2012 the concept had been endorsed by the United Nations in the shape of the UN Chief Executives Board's SPF-Initiative, the World Bank in its new Social Protection and Labor Strategy and by the G20 at the Cannes Summit. Furthermore the IMF had agreed to work with the ILO to explore the options for creating fiscal space within countries to fund SPFs. Special Rapporteurs for the UN Human Rights Council had also in 2012 called for the setting up of a global fund for social protection to enable poorer countries to develop their floors. By 2012 a new coordinating authority, the Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board (SPIAC-B), had been ushered into existence to facilitate inter-agency cooperation. This article describes and explains how these developments came about. It asks if the reality of increased global social governance cooperation in the field of social protection is as effective as it seems or whether there are new contradictions, overlapping and competing mandates and policy disagreements at the global level.