Introduction: Overcoming Barriers to the Extension of Social Protection: Lessons from the Asia Region
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The contributions to this IDS Bulletin report on some of the findings from research undertaken under the Social Protection in Asia programme. This is a three?year policy?oriented research and network building programme, funded by the Ford Foundation and IDRC, with project partners in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The research focuses on examining interventions aimed at extending social protection to those sections of the population, the majority in many Asian countries, who are excluded from formal social security systems. It has sought to identify and address barriers to the establishment of more comprehensive social protection systems that could address such difficult?to?reach groups. This issue of the IDS Bulletin brings together some initial reflections on the findings from this research. These relate to advocacy efforts to draw attention to those groups that have been largely invisible in the social protection agenda; to the importance of civil society and grassroots mobilisation in creating access to state provision and to lessons from social protection efforts to go to scale. These reflections are intended to feed into current debates about the design of appropriate social protection schemes that effectively meet identified needs.