IMF Engagement on Social Safety Net Issues in Surveillance and Program Work

Publication Date:

October 3, 2022

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Technical Guidance Note should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed in this Note are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


The International Monetary Fund’s engagement on social safety net (SSN) issues is likely to expand as member countries respond to growing challenges in the economic and fiscal landscape. SSNs play a crucial role in protecting households from poverty, promoting inclusive growth, and maintaining social stability. This technical note discusses (1) the different channels through which SSN spending may become macro-critical, (2) how to assess the importance of these channels, and (3) the types of policy responses that are appropriate and the trade-offs involved in choosing among them. To facilitate a more comprehensive assessment of SSN spending, the paper also examines the complementary role of labor market programs (for example, unemployment benefits and active labor market programs). The paper emphasizes the importance of early engagement and coordination with development partners with expertise on social safety nets and with different stakeholders when formulating policy advice.


Technical Notes and Manuals No. 2022/007





Publication Date:

October 3, 2022



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