Universal Adaptive Social Protection - SDG Fund Joint Programme

This Joint Programme contributes to the development of an adaptive and universal social protection system in Barbados and Saint Lucia  through integrated policy development, programme design and service implementation. The Joint Programme takes an innovative approach to modelling and piloting at community, national and sub-regional levels, which will complement national plans and leverage resources from existing policy loans from international financial institutions.

The programme will utilize research, analysis, monitoring and evaluation to support the evidence-based development of an adaptive system towards progressive universal coverage of social protection, while facilitating replication and expansion to Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC) through South-South exchange under the OECS framework. This will also include strengthening the OECS Commission to support scale-up and sustainability of interventions and implementation across the ECC.

UNDP as a Participating UN Agency (PUNO) will contribute five activities under two outputs in the joint programme for Barbados and Saint Lucia related to strenthening institutional capacities for integrated service delivery and supporting innovative finance for sustainable and adaptive social protection systems and programmes.


Output 1
Institutional capacities are strengthened for integrated service delivery through the development of evidence-based, gender-responsive social and disaster risk management policy and legislation.

UNDP led activities:

  1. Support the adaptation of the Core Diagnostic Instrument (CODI) to include attention to the linkages between the current social protection system and the disaster risk management infrastructure and undertake a gap analysis of the same. The gap analysis will include attention to sector specific linkages and needs paying attention to the most vulnerable sectors related to both climate and economic shocks (Barbados)
  2. Gender-responsive Assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the existing social protection systems/ programmes, and support estimations of longer-term needs as a result (Barbados)
  3. Gender responsive and multi-dimensional socio-economic and climate-based vulnerability analysis of the Survey of Living Conditions – Household Budgets 2016 (SLC-HB 2016) to inform recommendations for policy and legislative reform, as well as relevant protocols and guidelines for integrated systems development for adaptive social protection (Saint Lucia)
  4. Gender-responsive assessment of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups in communities most affected (Saint Lucia)

Output 2
Innovative financing strategies are introduced to ensure fiscal sustainability for minimum expanded coverage.

UNDP led activity:

  1. Assess gender-responsive sustainable financing options for adaptive social protection with a focus on linking the current system to relevant disaster risk management infrastructure. The assessment will focus on ways to improve the efficiency of existing systems and will identify a suite of options to improve the coverage of existing systems. More critically, the assessment will examine a range of financing modalities, considering the fiscal and monetary context of Barbados, and provide costed recommendations for expanding the system both vertically and horizontally to include building economic resilience and reducing long-term disaster risks); implementation of agreed recommendations for prioritized interventions of the government.

Output 3
Implementation of national social protection programmes is strengthened with improved management and operational tools.

Output 4
Targeted communities benefit from realignment of social protection programmes designed to strengthen their ability to anticipate, absorb and recover from climate-related shocks and stresses.

Output 5
Regional capacities are strengthened for adaptive social protection by engaging stakeholders for policy coherence and South-South Cooperation.

A Gender Responsive and Multi-Dimensional Socio-Economic and Climate-Based Vulnerability Analysis of the Saint Lucia Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budgets 2016

Climate change is one of the crucial issues of the twenty-first century affecting human populations globally. Saint Lucia faces high climate change impacts with vulnerability and adaptation capacity varying widely throughout the country depending on a range of demographic, socio-economic and spatial factors. Women are affected disproportionately by climate change due to existing socio-economic and psycho-social conditions such as poverty and food insecurity (Third National Communication on Climate Change for Saint Lucia, 2017). There is a direct connection between access to adequate social assistance and protection, healthcare, food and nutrition, water and sanitation and education, among
other factors. Systemic barriers also propagate gender-based vulnerability. This vulnerability analysis focuses on the relationship between climate change and gender-based socio-economic vulnerability in Saint Lucia and uses the Survey of Living Conditions and Household Budgets 2016 (SLC-HBS 2016) as the data for undertaking this analysis.

Gender-Responsive Assessment of Barbados' Social protection Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights a need for Shock Responsive Social Protection (SRSP) measures that differ from routine social protection programmes and in some respects, those usually implemented in response to typical shocks and stressors. COVID-19 is a rapid-onset shock which is both covariate and idiosyncratic. When compared to previous covariate shocks, a major challenge related to COVID-19 is that many individuals require social protection support simultaneously, and individuals who already received support may need additional support due to the pandemic. Consequently, the capacity of the existing system to deliver relief is typically challenged. The rapid onset of the COVID-19 crisis poses specific challenges, although similar to other rapid onset shocks (e.g., earthquake). On the other hand, the global reach of the pandemic, as well as the unpredictability of its course and duration, make it different from more common shocks and more comparable to global conflicts. Another peculiarity of the COVID-19 crisis is the dramatic impact of the lockdown, and other mobility restrictions, across multiple groups with multiple needs. The measures to contain the spread of the virus have also strongly impacted the capacity of the government and its public services provision, further challenging the capacity of the social protection system to respond to the needs of people affected by the crisis. This report provides an assessment of Barbados' social protection response to COVID-19.