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’ rights. 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.