The article emphasizes the necessity of multilevel approach to providing sustainable development of countries, regions, municipalities. It requires adequate social and economic policy. Thus, special attention is paid to its social component related with education, health care and social protection of the most vulnerable strata of population. The features of the social policy in the developed countries and in Russia are described. The authors suppose that the Russian Federation and its regions need a new type of social policy. The regions play the key role in the problem of sustainable development of the Russian Federation. A lot of attention is paid to social and economic policy in one of regions of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Mordovia. Although this region has witnessed positive tendencies in the development of the economy, production and social infrastructure, we can see it is falling behind the average Russian indicators characterizing the level and quality of life of the population. A solution to social problems in the region, which were identified in the course of the conducted research, is proposed on the basis of measures which have been taken in the Republic Target Development Program of Mordovia for 2013–2018. This target program has been developed by the authors of this article.