MSc Development Finance

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Financing Social Protection

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI60372
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


Social transfers account for a substantial part of national income. Therefore, how transfers are designed, financed and distributed as benefits are vital for the pursuance and realisation of socially, economically and fiscally optimal results. The course unit, therefore, offers a solid grounding in the basic theoretical and analytical frameworks for analysing social protection financing systems and schemes that will enable students to address the following questions, inter alia:

    i. How do we finance a certain overall level of social protection  and/or a certain new benefit scheme?

    ii. Who is paying for what in the social protection system?

    iii. What determines the level of expenditure in social transfer system?

In addition, the course unit includes an examination of: social protection schemes; the economy and fiscal policy; social welfare and economic growth; financing systems for different benefit schemes; economic scenarios; basic techniques of social budgeting and cash flow statements; fiscal space for financing social protection schemes; and alternative cost effective options to deliver benefits.


The unit aims to:

  • Examine the options that financial planners and policy makers have to finance an expected social protection expenditure.
  • Equip students to identify and manage resources to finance transfers that can help to alleviate income insecurity and poverty in the context of a national concept of social protection.
  • Analyse the governance, demographic, economic, fiscal and financial consequences of alternative social protection financing systems.
  • Set out the technical characteristics of alternative financing systems and their potential fiscal and economic effects.
  • Offer students practical assessment that consolidates their knowledge and skills in financial sustainability analysis of social protection schemes, and report writing.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain conceptual approaches and practical issues concerning financing of social protection.
  • Review empirical data, case studies and official reports on social protection financing in both develop and developing countries.

Intellectual skills

  • Employ different approaches and techniques to financing social protection at community, national and international levels.
  • Apply different conceptual perspectives to the analysis of financing social protection across diverse development contexts and regions (including Africa, Asia and Latin America).

Practical skills

  • Design a system of financing of national social protection systems that ensures an effective and efficient use of resources.
  • Appraise financing policies and process that define desirable levels and scope of social protection in a given country.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Analyse demographic, financial, and economic data on social protection, and present the trend in social protection development and financing.
  • Evaluate existing and proposed social protection benefit schemes on economic performance and government budget and suggest policy recommendations.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Project output (not diss/n) 100%

Feedback methods

Tailored feedback on the assessment in Turnitin via Blackboard within SEED’s guideline

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Lawrence Ado-Kofie Unit coordinator

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