National Assessment of the Social Protection System

Tokelau is a small Pacific Island Nation of around 1,500 people living in the three atolls. As a self-administering territory of New Zealand, Tokelau receives significant budget support from Zealand, but have its own democratic governance system and an independent, unique social protection system with a combination of formal and traditional social protection provisions. Very little was known about the Tokelau social protection system.

SPRI Global is supporting UNICEF Office of Pacific Islands and the Government of Tokelau to conduct a national assessment of the social protection system of Tokelau. The assessment aims to provide a comprehensive stock take and analysis of the system, both for the improvements of social protection policies in Tokelau and as learnings for the rest of Pacific Island countries currently developing their social protection systems. 

The national assessment includes the following activities:

  • Sock taking of social protection provisions including the policies, laws, coverage, budget, administration, data management, and monitoring and evaluation systems.
  • Consultations with communities on the three atolls, village governments, the Tokelau national government and representatives of New Zealand government.
  • Identification of gaps, implementation and administrative issues, opportunities, and areas for improvement. A particular attention was given to inclusiveness, equity, financial sustainability, gender sensitivity and disability inclusion.

Results from the assessment will be discusses at the national level to come up with the next steps to further develop and improve the social protection system in Tokelau. Additionally, findings will be presented in Pacific Island regional forums to provide insights to actors involved in social protection works across the region.

Findings indicate that Tokelau has one of the most comprehensive and generous social protection provisions in the Pacific region, and that the system has been run independently from domestic initiatives. This is contrary to previous external assumptions; thus, the assessment will be particularly valuable to provide a case study for learning purposes in the region.

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