‘The original position is a central feature of John Rawls’ social contract account of justice, ‘justice as fairness’, set forth in A Theory of Justice. It is designed to be a fair and impartial point of view that is to be adopted in our reasoning about fundamental principles of justice’

(Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


Director/Owner the Original Position
2007 – present

Since 2007 Arthur van de Meerendonk (1963) has been working as an independent advisor consultant in the governmental area. Specialties are strategic governance and procurement issues. Commissionners have been several ministries and local governments (municipalities) in the Netherlands. The focus in this line of work lies with strategic procurement of social services, advising mainly local and regional government organizations with respect to organizing, purchasing and delivering social services and organizing ‘integrated service’ networks.

Associate professor/lecturer/researcher at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/United Nations University
2001 – present

I lecture an annual course for Master’s students: Social Protection Financing (SPF). Back in 2001, I was one of the co-founders of the current specialization track Social Protection Policy Design and Financing for Master students. Since 2020, I also lecture Social Protection Reform at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University, Germany.

29th March 2023, I was happy to participate as an invited expert in the public hearing organised by the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Bundestag on: “The impact and financing of social security systems in the countries of the Global South”. 

In the October 2014 Issue of European Economic Review, a paper has been published which I co-authored: Koning, P. and A. Van de Meerendonk, The impact of scoring weights on price and quality outcomes: An application to the procurement of Welfare-to-Work contracts, European Economic Review, Volume 71, pp. 1-14.  Recently, I was the author of a chapter on Social Protection Financing (Chapter 7) in the Handbook on Social Protection Systems, Loewe and Schüring (eds.), 2021, Edward Elgar publishers.

International consultant for International Labour Office, UNICEF, Asian Development Bank
1998 – present

Internationally, I work as a consultant for various organizations, including ILO, UNICEF and ADB (Asian Development Bank), with field experience in over 20 countries in East, South-East and South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, Middle East and Caribbean regions. Specialties are financing and governance of social protection, fiscal space and the financial linkages between the social protection system and the government budget.

Recently I’ve led a project entitled ‘diagnostic review of social protection and financing strategies‘ for the ILO and UNFPA in Mongolia, and I lecture an on-line ILO/ITC training course in social budgeting for Indonesian government officials.
Currently, I’m leading a social protection expenditure review project for ILO in Suriname, and an ADB regional project on financing strategies for achieving the SDGs in the area of social protection in Asia and the Pacific with a more in depth focus on Indonesia and Mongolia. The first phase of the Suriname report is about to be finalized with a presentation of findings and recommendations to the president and his cabinet, and in the second phase we will proceed further towards the implementation of the proposed reforms.
The most recent engagement is in an ILO pension reform project for the government of Ukraine.

Senior policy advisor at Ministery Social Security and Labour
1995 – 2006

Throughout the period in government service, I have been involved in issues of welfare state reform. In particular the governance side I have found challenging: how can governments steer on outcomes and costs in an environment with disadvantaged groups and individuals?

Moreover, in 1996 and in 1999, I coordinated two comparative studies into strengths and weaknesses, and challenges, of the Dutch welfare state vis-à-vis the welfare states of several other industrialized countries (D, F, S, GB and USA).

Policy advisor at Ministery of Health, Welfare and Sports
1990 – 1995

I contributed to a milestone reform of the finance mechanism for the public health insurance scheme, which after more than two decades still stands as one of the main pillars under the current health financing model in the Netherlands.