1. Historic and background of the COVID-19 task force

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and its consequences around the world were truly unprecedented: health care systems were facing severe overload; countries were temporarily shutting down their borders; public life was being brought down to a minimum; and economies were experiencing dramatic slowdowns, threatening the survival of small businesses and people working in the informal sector.

In this context, measures to assist people in need and protect them against falling into poverty due to the consequences of the pandemic were more necessary than never. Social protection systems and programmes have shown to be crucial to help individuals and households cope with this crisis, by reducing social and economic risks and protecting the livelihoods and wellbeing of all affected.

Against this background, the joint and collaborative initiative “Social protection response to COVID-19” has been created to inform and provide updates on the topic, with a focus on showcasing how countries all around the world are responding to the COVID-19 crisis through social protection measures.

“Social protection response to COVID-19”

This joint effort took place from March-October 2020 and was inspired by colleagues and organisations working to disseminate and discuss the most recent content on social protection responses to COVID-19. The initiative had three major outcomes:

  • 23 editions of a weekly newsletter disseminating different types and format of materials about countries responses on social protection initiatives and COVID-19 to a network of 5,500 subscribers. The special editions ended in 24 September 2020 and were replaced by a dedicated session in the socialprotection.org monthly newsletter.
  • 32 webinars in collaboration with 26 organizations with experts from the area debating key topics. The sessions had more than 6,000 live attendees and its recordings keep attracting thousands of YouTube views.  
  • Online Community fostering discussions and exchanges and compiling information on the thematic.

To mark the end of the COVID-19 joint initiative, the Global e-Conference: ‘Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What’s next for social protection?’ was organized and took place from 5-8 October 2020. The e-Conference has aimed to provide an opportunity for taking stock of, exchanging information about and facilitating learning on social protection responses to COVID-19. It has also offered a moment for brainstorming about the future of social protection in the context of the pandemic, besides celebrating the achievements of the socialprotection.org platform over its five years of activity.

About the initiative:

This joint effort was an initiative of the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia, in collaboration with the socialprotection.org online platform. 
Diverse partners and organisations have contributed by sharing knowledge and discussing their findings on social protection responses to the crisis.

You can still collaborate!

The task force is over, but this Community is still being fed with materials related to social protection and COVID-19. Therefore, we welcome Individuals and organisations to send us related materials—news, legal documents, op-eds, reviews and blogs from all over the world are accepted, in all languages. Send us links of relevant content to [email protected]