Social Protection

A Progressive Pathway Towards a Universal Social Protection System in Kenya to Accelerate the Achievement of the SDGs

Sustainable Development Goals

The programme brief description

The programme aims to support the Government of Kenya (GoK) to operationalize universal social protection through the generation of evidence, advocacy and policy and the development of specific plans and financing strategies to make social protection for all Kenyans a reality. Aligned with GoK’s 'Big Four' agenda aiming to achieve universal health coverage, improved food security and nutrition, increased access to affordable housing and manufacturing. It will identify and address critical gaps and bottlenecks in this process and prioritize integration between universal social protection and economic and social services while leveraging on partnerships for scale up. Investing in social protection leads to greater stability, reduced vulnerability of women and men, increased prosperity and a more dynamic and a more resilient, productive workforce. Key to the programme will be positioning the GoK to scale up initiatives that will play a fundamental role in the achievement of the SDGs in Kenya. This will be enabled through accompanying efforts to explore financing in this area whereby the programme will aim to learn from other sectors that have successfully mobilized public private partnerships and innovative financing strategies.


This Joint Programme supports the Government of Kenya to move from a poverty-targeted approach to social protection, which excludes 78% of vulnerable people, towards a more inclusive and universal approach. This will be accomplished through strengthening the environment for universal social protection, greater evidence on the business case for universal social protection, clarity on the government capacity, structures, systems and sustainable financing needed to operationalize universal social protection. This will include analysis of both contributory and non-contributory social protection schemes and efforts to reach those currently left behind. This will be elaborated through design options and roll out plans and the Joint Programme will conduct advocacy and policy work to generate political buy-in and ownership towards universal social protection and social security reforms.

Target groups

Women, children, girls, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, rural workers, persons affected by HIV/AIDS and leprosy.

Quick facts

Total budget:
US $3,300,000

UN Agencies:


National Partners:

Ministry of Labour and Social Protection; National Social Security Fund; National Hospital Insurance Fund; Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs; The National Treasury and Planning; Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands

January 15, 2020 to January 15, 2022 (24 months)

Financial Information