Exchanging Experiences, Expanding Opportunities


What is the IASPN?

The Inter-American Social Protection Network (IASPN) is a community of practice for national social development ministries and agencies, in collaboration with international organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector and academia, to promote the exchange and transfer of experiences and knowledge on social protection.

General Objectives

  • Bring together key actors and institutions throughout the region to engage in an agenda-setting dialogue on social protection schemes and appropriate cooperation mechanisms.
  • Strengthen the institutional capacity of national social development agencies in formulating and implementing effective and efficient policies and programs to eradicate extreme poverty, and facilitate greater cross-sectoral cooperation on social protection issues.
  • Implement an Inter-American cooperation mechanism for the exchange of best practices in social protection based on detecting specific country needs and priorities, assembling a portfolio of social protection programs, and matching supply and demand of successful programs and methodologies.
  • Generate a community of practice of policy-makers and practitioners through a knowledge and learning network.  

The OAS’ vision of Social Protection

The General Secretariat of the OAS along with the support of the Member States promotes social protection policies and the search for innovative solutions for the eradication of extreme poverty and high levels of inequality that plague the region.

According to the OAS, the concept of social protection “is a key factor for democratic governance, as it fosters and facilitates the progressive inclusion of all citizens in our societies in well-being, progress, and social justice.  Social protection implies facilitating access by our peoples, especially the most vulnerable communities, to food, health, education, housing, and employment, under equal conditions.” (Communiqué of the First Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development, 2010)

Social protection encompasses a broad range of public policies and private initiatives designed to protect and offer opportunities to people who live in poverty. The objective consists of delivering integrated services to the most vulnerable populations, with a goal of minimizing the risks to their human development. When social protection is conceived and applied within a framework of shared responsibility, it improves social inclusion, which is seen is a pillar of democratic governance.

In the recently approved Social Charter of the Americas, the countries of the region acknowledge that “Member states have a responsibility to develop and implement comprehensive social protection policies and programs, based on the principles of universality, solidarity, equality, nondiscrimination, and equity that give priority to persons living in conditions of poverty and vulnerability, taking into account their national circumstances.” (Chapter III, Article 14) 

The IASPN Knowledge Portal

The IASPN Knowledge Portal provides a virtual community space to maintain connections, easily transfer experience and knowledge, and sustain ongoing learning. It is a global platform to leverage and scale up the benefits of Horizontal Cooperation in the Americas. 

Members Can:

> Join the IASPN Portal and create an online profile

    • Contact other members through the site
    • Bookmark content on the site
    • Get points for your contributions to the site (coming soon)

> Join an online community or discussion group – or start one of your own

    • Participate in online discussions
    • Read other member posts

> Feature your organization and promote the important work you are doing

    • Every month we will feature a member country or partner on our homepage
    • Member countries and partners are invited to create and contribute to a page on our website that features their work and their contribution to the IASPN Knowledge Portal.
    • New content will be dynamically featured on our Resources page
    • Individual members can create their personal profile page and link to their social media presence

> Post news, press releases, links, and events to keep the community up to date and actively involved

> Help build a valuable library of resources on social protection and related topics 

    • Upload Documents, Videos, Audio, Photos and more to the site
    • Share your best practices, lessons learned and innovations by submitting a “Partner Highlight”

> Search the site and filter content to find desired resources

> Connect to colleagues and expand your professional network

> Use your smart phone or other mobile device to engage with the portal and other members

> Subscribe to updates and receive emails when new content is posted

> Access tutorials to get help using the portal 

The IASPN Knowledge Portal is managed by the Department of Social Inclusion (DSI), Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity (SARE) at the OAS.

For further information, email us at socialprotection@oas.org 

Organization of American States
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Washington D.C. 20006
United States

The development of this platform was made possible through the support provided by the United States Department of State to the OAS. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of State.