Last Update: October 2021
Institutional Framework Database for Social Policy
in Latin America and the Caribbean

This database includes official information and indicators about the institutional framework of social policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. It consists of legal and regulatory frameworks, organizational structures, management tools, and fiscal resources mobilized in the social policy sphere.

Legal and regulatory


The legal and regulatory dimension refers to the existing legal base of the institutional framework of social policy as a central element to identify the State's commitments to guarantee the economic, social, and cultural rights of people. This dimension incorporates the adherence and ratification of international compacts and treaties, the guarantee of rights, and the presence of different social themes in constitutional texts and specific national laws and regulations. Thus, it includes sectoral social laws, especially social development and social protection laws, as well as legislation devoted to specific segments of the population.



The organizational dimension refers to the way in which ministries and executive powers are set up and in charge of social functions, considering their mandates and legal status. They emphasize the relative importance and formal mandates of Social Development Ministries (or other equivalent entities of the government devoted to social development) within the structure of the central government, as well as their degree of autonomy, specialization, relationship and importance in comparison to other sectoral areas of government.

Technical and Operational


The technical-operational dimension refers to the presence and characteristics of management systems of social development policies and programmes, particularly in relation to mechanisms of planning, participation, and accountability, as well as implementation, evaluation, and follow-up instruments. These tools seek to achieve formulated objectives defined by legal and organizational frameworks. Therefore, this dimension focuses on actors, regulations, and institutional attributes involved in the implementation and management of social policies and programmes at the interministerial, subministerial, and subnational levels.



The financing dimension focuses on the analysis of the relative size of mobilized resources for social development in terms of fiscal priority and cyclicity, as well as stability and trends in the investment amounts allocated to each social function. Following the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG) defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the sectoral level of different ministries of social areas, these functions include social protection, health, education, housing, culture, and environment.


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