Social Policy Report V: Towards a new welfare mix? Rethinking the role of the state, the market and civil society in the provision of social protection and social services

UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Publication Year:
January 26, 2021
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

When the long-simmering social crises in Arab countries erupted to the surface in 2011, these events immediately shifted government attention from the economic to the social fields. Suddenly it became clear that years of substantial economic growth had not improved social outcomes and Governments rushed to increase public employment and wages, improve services, increase social transfers and invest in social infrastructure. However, Governments and societies are aware of their need to find more sustainable ways to solve structural socioeconomic as well as political problems. Changes in the policy sphere may open the way for a different approach to social development that will be more inclusive of people of all ages, regions and income groups and grant more equitable access to social protection and social services. The present report explores the prevailing welfare mix in Arab countries, the contribution of different private sector enterprises and civil society actors to social protection and social services, and the advantages and difficulties emerging from this situation. It does not aim to provide a comprehensive inventory but rather looks at issues such as education or health-care services on the basis of examples from selected countries.


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