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SPARCS: Social Protection Assessment of Results and Country Systems

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SPARCS: Social Protection Assessment of Results and Country Systems

Elements of SPARCS

  • Guidance: Country Goals and Metrics: "What Matters" guidance notes for assessing and benchmarking social protection & labor system design, implementation and performance.

  • Diagnostics: Country Assessments: Three country assessment instruments - (1) core diagnostic system assessment instrument; (2) delivery assessment instruments; (3) program assessment instrument.

  • Knowledge Sharing: A global knowledge sharing process to support learning and collaboration across countries, partners and stakeholders, with feedback loops to improve the SPARCS process.

Approaches to social protection and labor are often fragmented and uncoordinated, reducing their effectiveness at providing resilience against shocks and pathways out of poverty. To address this, countries are increasingly taking a systems approach to social protection and labor to improve harmonization across policies, programs and delivery instruments.


The Social Protection Assessment of Results and Country Systems (SPARCS) is an inter-agency initiative that aims to improve the performance of Social Protection and Labor (SP&L) systems by creating an “open source” platform for collaboration, based on defining and assessing key system metrics and outcomes.


SPARCS provides systematic and comparable information on the design and implementation of SP&L systems. The objective is to move towards a more standardized, shared approach to assess country SP&L systems, building on existing work. SPARCS tools can be used by country policymakers and their development partners to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of SP&L systems and to guide their improvements.


Each SPARCS country systems assessment is prepared in collaboration with country policymakers and experts, together with partner agencies and other external advisers.


Each assessment is based on:

1) A "What Matters" Guidance Note

2) A Standardized Assessment Instrument

3) A Structured Country Report


The Country Reports are the result of data analysis and dialogue with stakeholders to produce an assessment across objectives and an outline of policy options and recommendations.


SPARCS is designed as a collaborative tool to track progress over time, not for ranking.


Partnerships and Process

SPARCS is designed as a multi-year, programmatic platform for global collaboration. A central element of SPARCS is the establishment of strong links across governments, donor agencies, experts and key stakeholders working on social protection & labor operations and policy.


SPARCS tools and data will be publicly accessible and available for broad application.Partners interested in SPARCS are invited to collaborate in the development and country applications of SPARCS instruments, including in taking a leadership role in developing instruments, in financing knowledge generation and in knowledge sharing.

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