Given that, in 2011, 174 million Latin Americans were living in poverty, 73 million of
which in extreme poverty and that the region continues being considered by an extremely
unequal income distribution. The case studies place emphasis on the inclusion of the
poor and vulnerable population into social protection systems, as well as on the distributional
impact of social protection policies. The concept of social protection is applied in the country
states in the form of levels as it aims to empower and improve a state’s autonomy. The
administrative level includes subsystems that support security, opportunity or equality.
These levels lead to social protection that builds flexibility for the respected against
shocks, creates opportunity for all in terms of human capital and productivity, and ensures equity
to the less fortunate.
In the first place, after agreeing on a shared definition of social protection, it will be
possible to determine, with greater precision and a longer time horizon. The role that different
sectors and levels of the government must play in order to protect citizens, with a special
consideration of those living in poverty and vulnerability. Thus, it is necessary to advance
towards the creation of a federal agreement on social protection, capable of realizing citizens’
In the second place, there is also the challenge of improving the institutions linked to
social protection. This includes development legislation on workers’ protection as well as on
influential social protection instruments. It is required that these components become better
articulated with social services and with non-contributory social protection. The transformations
needed are not purely legal, but also cultural, as they will demand changes in the clientelist
logics that have historically affected targeted programmed in local areas.
In the third place, there are various challenges for sectoral policies. For example, it will
be necessary to review the amounts and the coverage of the unemployment insurance. In the
health sector, it is required to overcome the destruction among the three subsystems to assure
a solid collective insurance with better coverage and equity. In the education sector, the greatest
challenge is linked to the retention of low-income students and the improvement of the quality of
the education system.
After analyzing the main social protection policies implemented in Argentina’s recent
history, it is possible to identify important progress, as well as enduring challenges. Among the
later, it emerges the necessity to build a solid and theoretically strategic notion
of social protection capable of articulating actions in this field. There are also challenges
concerning the coverage and quality of the services provided within social protection in the
country. Greater technical and operative capacity building is also urgently needed to build an
integral social protection system capable of confronting the acute social and territorial
inequalities in Argentina.