Fiscal space for social protection and the SDGs: Options to expand social investments in 187 countries

It is often argued that spending on social protection is not affordable and that government expenditure should be adjusted during austerity periods. However, even in the poorest countries, there exist options to expand financing and generate resources to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), realize human rights, and invest in women and children. This paper highlights eight financing alternatives to increase the overall size of a country’s budget. Given the importance of public investments for human rights, jobs, and social protection, it is imperative that governments explore all possible alternatives to expand fiscal space to promote national socio-economic development and the SDGs.

Development actors can make use of this policy paper to advocate and encourage social dialogues among national stake-holders on financing for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

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