What is Social Protection?

Lifecycle approach

"In almost sharp contrast to the poor relief approach, there came up a more comprehensive approach to social protection which is lifecycle approach. It reflects that individuals face different risks and vulnerabilities at different stages in life, and that social protection can be designed to address these risks at each stage. It is a provision of basic social protection to citizens from the cradle to the grave. The lifecycle approach was adopted by some European countries like Sweden in the early decades of the twentieth century. It was introduced by UK in 1945 and then came to be used across developed countries; also, in a range of developing countries. The main characteristic of the lifecycle approach is that it involves long term planning -programmes directed at particular stages of the life cycle. It focuses resources on particular lifecycle risks."

Source: Social Security Policy Support (SSPS) Programme. (n.d.). 'Lifecycle Approach'


"The sociology of age has traditionally distinguished between four basic stages in the life cycle of individuals: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. These stages in the life cycle constitute a substantive classification system in which each is considered to have differentiated roles, connections and positions relative to the social environment, presenting specific characteristics that are not, however, necessarily homogeneous or fixed across different social groups and countries."

Source: UNECLAC. 2015. ' Towards universal social protection: Latin American pathways and policy tools'