About the Social Finance Programme

The Social Finance Programme works with the financial sector to enable it to contribute to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda. Social Finance engages with banks, microfinance institutions, credit unions, insurers, investors and others to test new financial products, approaches and processes. The work of the ILO’s Social Finance Programme is organized around three segments of the financial sector:

The promotion of social justice is the foundation of the ILO. When applying a social justice lens to the financial sector, financial inclusion becomes an important objective, so that everyone, regardless of income or social status, has access to relevant financial services and knows how to use them well.

Insurance is the second part of the financial sector with which the ILO’s Social Finance Programme engages. Through our work in the Impact Insurance Facility, the ILO engages with insurance as a product, and insurers as institutions, to see how both can contribute to the SDGs and the Decent Work agenda.

The investment community is the third segment of the financial sector that can contribute to Decent Work. The Global Commission on the Future of Work calls on the international community to increase investments to achieve the SDGs and to promote investments in decent and sustainable work.

The financial sector has an important role to play in the world of work, and it could take on an even bigger one. To encourage financial institutions to live up to their potential to contribute to Decent Work, the ILO’s Social Finance Programme’s approach involves testing, learning, documenting and promoting. In this way, we work with banks, insurers and investors to pilot new products and processes, and to learn with them which methods achieve the intended objectives. Having documented that knowledge, we actively promote the insights and recommendations, with policy-makers and practitioners alike.

The impact model of the ILO’s Social Finance Programme