Inter Agency Social Protection Assessment Tools

February 24, 2016


Approaches to social protection and labor are often fragmented and uncoordinated, reducing their effectiveness at providing resilience against shocks and pathways out of poverty. To address this, countries are increasingly taking a systems approach to social protection and labor to improve harmonization across policies, programs and delivery instruments.

The Inter Agency Social Protection Assessment Tools (ISPA) is a set of practical tools to help countries improve their social protection system, offering policy options for further action. ISPA provides a platform for collaboration across agencies to help craft a common vision for SP systems and ensure a consistent, inter-agency approach to system development.

ISPA tools provide systematic and comparable information on the design and implementation of SP&L systems. The objective is to move towards a more standardized, shared approach to assess country SP&L systems, building on existing work. ISPA tools can be used by country policymakers and their development partners to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of SP&L systems and to guide their improvements.

The ISPA tools have been developed by the world’s leading SP specialists from more than 20 international organizations and development partners, with strong partnership from Governments.  The tools benefit from the unique expertise and know-how of the different agencies. Each tool has gone through a rigorous development and approval process that included field testing in at least two countries each.

Each tool includes:

  • A "What Matters" Guidance Note, that lays out the technical foundation for the assessment and provides good practices from international experience.
  • A Standardized Questionnaire that gathers qualitative and quantitative information.
  • An Assessment Matrix that assesses against the agreed criteria on a four point scale.
  • A Country Report, that present the findings and provides policy options for future dialogue
  • Finally the Implementation Guidelines, outline the process of application of the ISPA tools from start to completion.

Basic e-Learning introductory modules and communication materials are also including in the site to facilitate users to understand how to apply the tools.

Partners interested are invited to collaborate in the development and country applications of instruments, including in taking a leadership role in developing instruments, in financing knowledge generation and in knowledge sharing.

You can email the ISPA Coordination Team at