Welcome to the August socialprotection.org newsletter!

Technology is presenting new opportunities  and challenges in the delivery and administration of social protection programmes. For example, electronic payments systems allow beneficiaries to receive transfers to their cellphone, eliminating the need to travel to payment locations and lowering overall programme costs. Determining eligibility and performing registration through mobile and online platforms is making programmes more responsive, particularly in the context of urban humanitarian shocks and crises. 

Technology can therefore improve accessibility if the programme design does not replicate existing social and economic barriers. However, beneficiary households and officials still need to engage in person, often in remote or insecure areas. A further challenge is that technology can increase the risks beneficiaries face with respect to their personal data. This highlights the importance of adopting explicit programme regulations to prevent, protect and redress potential data breaches. Technology can also boost productivity and create new jobs while displacing other jobs.

The challenge for governments today is to ensure that technology is incorporated into programme design in a manner that is inclusive, by supporting skills development and protecting beneficiaries rights. This month’s newsletter explores the complexities related to technology and social protection. We hope you enjoy reading!

This month we share the following publications that address the opportunities and challenges of integrating technology into social protection:

Is biometric technology in social protection programmes illegal or arbitrary? An analysis of privacy and data protection (2018)

by the International Labour Organization (ILO)

This paper seeks to guide social protection practitioners on what data should be collected, and how to ensure it is lawfully processed, shared and retained. This is particularly relevant to the use of biometric technology.

How to reap the benefits of developing an integrated information system for the social protection sector? Why we need to focus on policy and not technology (2018)

Oxford Policy Management, (OPM)

This infographic illustrates the importance of policy, not just technology, in supporting the flow and management of information within the social protection sector to ensure a more equitable, responsive and inclusive distribution of resources.

Prospera's current process in verification of co-responsibilities (Mexico): Responding to challenges leveraging new and emerging technologies (2017)

by  the
Department of Social Development Mexico

Mexico’s Prospera programme provides insight into the process of transitioning to a paperless compliance verification system, involving electronic certification, and the associated challenges.
Asian Development Outlook 2018: How Technology Affects Jobs (2018)

by the 
Asian Development Bank, (ADB)

New technologies require a skilled workforce, which may put the less-skilled at a disadvantage. Governments must act to ensure that new technologies develop in ways that benefit people and protect their rights.
The Other Side of the Coin: The Comparative Evidence of Cash and In-kind Transfers in Humanitarian Situations (2016)

by the World Bank Group

Long-term global trends in the concentration of people, economic activity, and technology are creating a landscape that is increasingly conductive for cash as an appropriate humanitarian response.

Report on the World Social Situation 2018 - Promoting inclusion through social protection (2018)

by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
Population groups that are at highest risk of poverty face particular barriers to social protection coverage. Universal schemes are better to avoid excluding people in need and new technologies can be used to improve accessibility.
Register for this month's upcoming webinars:
16 August 2018

12:00 - 14:00 GMT

23 August 2018

13:30 - 15:30 GMT

Past webinars addressing the role of technology:

Blog Posts
Take 10 minutes and gain valuable knowledge on social protection:
Stay up to date with the latest social protection news:

Check out highlighted upcoming events!

14 September

Sign up here!
Tying the digital knots

Organised by DFIDGIZ and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences
  • Digital social protection: From concept to output
  • Technological spotlights: Newest applications and their use for digital social protection
  • Implementing digital social protection: Current challenges at national and international level

17 - 28 September
17 – 18 September

Online Community
Check out the highlighted Community of the month!
Join 131 members and learn from each other’s experiences in designing and implementing social registries and other approaches to integrating data and information management for social protection that support the delivery of social protection programmes.

Jobs and calls for papers are accessible on our Jobs page. Members can submit jobs and calls for papers by clicking on + Submit job offer.