Go back to the OC Social protection responses to COVID-19 [Task force]


3.2.6 - RT 6: Different perspectives of the role of the ‘political economy’ in building back better social protection systems for the furthest behind in Covid-19 Times

The Round-tables allowed organisations working in the field of social protection to propose their topics of interest and engage in an open discussion with experts, while also involving the audience. In these virtual round-tables, current pressing topics derived from experiences with the COVID-19 crisis were discussed by selected experts with a focus on the future of social protection.

This round-table examined the role that the political economy plays in ‘building back better’ social protection systems for those who are furthest behind during COVID-19 times. Panelists highlighted the need to capitalize on the current momentum for social protection. Because of the current pandemic, policy makers have been reflecting on citizens' needs in times of crisis, fiscal space considerations and the critical cost of inaction. They have also been realising that investments in infrastructure alone are not sufficient, and that there is a need to invest in social sectors in an integrated way considering education, livelihoods, jobs, nutrition, health systems and social protection.  Panelists also stated that there is an opportunity to better understand the political economy and incentives/disincentives for integration across humanitarian responses and social protection. Recent examples from Ethiopia, Botswana, South Africa, Thailand, Namibia and Myanmar were presented and discussed during this session.  

The real cost of the crisis is not economic. When we look back, the real cost will be the social crisis - increased inequality, gender-based violence, risk to children who are unable to access on-line learning etc. […] Therefore, you need social protection as the software to make the system work.” - Michael Samson, Economic Policy Research Institute. 

Speakers: Michael Samson, Stephen Devereux, Sintayehu Demissie Admasu, Patricia Conboy 

Moderator: Michelle Winthrop 

Link to the recording 

Resource shared via chat during this session:

SPACE Social protection for older people during COVID-19 and beyond