Final Evaluation of the EU-SPS Project

The EU Social Protection Systems Programme (EU-SPS) was an external action of the European Union co-funded by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA). Other actors such as national and regional social protection authorities, think tanks and experts from 10 different countries also participated in this project from 2015 until 2018.

Its main goal was to support low and medium income countries in the draft of inclusive and sustainable social protection systems (SPS). These welfare systems are designed to decrease vulnerability and inequality in the people’s lifecycle and to provide higher levels of protection. Given their global coverage, the SPS focus essentially on vulnerable and disadvantaged people. Children, women, minorities, people with disabilities and elderly people compose this group. 

The final evaluation aimed to review the three steps of the process and their results. 

  1. Development of analytic tools: To develop appropriate methodologies and tools with which to assess the social protection policies, programmes and capacities in the selected partner countries and adjust them to offer affordable social protection systems that are at the same time sustainable and inclusive. 
  2. Testing of country-specific analytical tools: To apply the feasible evaluation methodologies and tools in the partner countries and support them in the adaptation of social protection policies and programmes.  
  3. Comparative learning: To generate evidence-based knowledge about social protection feasibility on the effectiveness of social protection in reducing poverty and vulnerability, addressing inequality, and promoting social cohesion. 

02. What was our role?

Our role was:


Final evaluation of the EU-SPS project.


Case study in five countries.


Verification of findings with the collaboration of multilateral agencies (OECD), supranational agencies (EU) and bilateral agencies (Finland).

03. Challenges

Complex programme with difficult attribution of results as it is a multi-actor technical assistance evaluation in ten countries on an emerging institutionalism (the welfare state in developing countries).

It is also complicated by the difficulties in aligning the various donors, whether bilateral or multilateral, towards greater aid effectiveness, when each entity comes with its own diagnostic tool for examining the quality of social protection systems.

Strong social protection systems are at the core of a European welfare system. This is included in the framework of target 1.3 “ appropriate social protection systems and measures for all” of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

04. Solutions

The solutions proposed are:

Learn to improve donor coordination in the collaboration on diagnostic work on public social protection systems. 

Connect experts and technicians from public administrations in Southern states with capacities for systemic analysis. 

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