Integrating information for the purpose of articulating social protection policies is hard work.
It requires a combination of political will, capacity for institutional cooperation, software
development and direct communication channels with citizens. Because of this complexity,
countries that pursue this objective often cooperate to exchange knowledge, and the Brazilian
Single Registry (Cadastro Único), the backbone of some 20 social protection programmes,
is frequently cited as a successful example of integration. By sharing the experience of the
Single Registry, this text discusses some of the essential elements required to design and
operate such instruments of social policy integration. It brings to light some of the challenges
that are still being faced to fulfil the promise of greater integration among social protection
programmes and to provide greater ease of access and respect to citizens.