MSc Development Finance

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Financing Social Protection

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
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? No


In any society, social transfers account for a substantial part of national income. Distributive machines of this scale should be designed and operated with prudence to pursue the realisation of social, economically and fiscally optimal results. The course unit, therefore, offers a solid grounding in theoretical and analytical frameworks for analysing social protection operational implementation and financing systems that will enable students to address the following questions, inter alia:

  1. How do we finance a certain overall level of social protection/or a certain new benefit?
  2. Who is paying for what in the social protection system?
  3. What would be the likely effect of the system, new scheme or new benefit on economic performance and government budget, other benefits in the system and income distribution?

The course includes an examination of the interaction between: social protection, the economy and fiscal policy, social protection and economic growth, the determinants of social expenditure, financing systems for different benefits, building economic scenarios, basic techniques of budgetary projections, taxation vs. contribution financing, 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 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 assignments that review and consolidate the essential concepts in social protection operational implementation and financing.

Learning outcomes

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

Knowledge and understanding

  • Explain conceptual approaches and practical issues concerning operational implementation and financing of social protection.
  • Review empirical data, case studies and official reports on operational implementation and 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 operational implementation and financing of 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 social, 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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