On 18th November 2016, socialprotection.org hosted the first webinar of a new series. This series, Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment, is organised by the Social Protection for Employment Community (SPEC) and supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The first webinar of this series focused on the experience of the Philippines, and its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). The webinar was moderated by Lisa Hannigan, Director of the Poverty and Social Transfers Section at DFAT. Presenting SLP was Alfrey P Gulla, Project Development Officer IV of the SLP at the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Government, and providing discussion was Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri, Country Director of Innovations for Poverty Action, Philippines. The presentation of this webinar can be found here, and the recording here. All of the webinars in this series can be found under the Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment Series tag.
Lisa Hannigan opened the webinar, introducing the series as an important opportunity for countries who are designing and implementing social protection systems to learn more about the interaction between social protection and sustainable livelihood. The case of the Philippines and the SLP, she explained, opens a series which will share experiences from countries around the world. Lisa introduced the speakers, before handing over to Alfrey for the feature presentation.
Alfrey’s presentation consisted of an introduction to the SLP process, and overview of its track and modules, the accomplishments of the program, and finally a concluding synthesis. SLP, Alfrey explained, is a community-based capacity building program, focused on improving livelihood prospects for the populations. In practice, Alfrey stated, the SLP acts as a bridge, or facilitator, joining participants to the opportunities around them. The program targets poor and vulnerable people, particularly those who are participants of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), but also other families in need, including those affected by disasters.
How does the SLP do this? Alfrey demonstrated that there are four broad strategies followed by the SLP: guided participation, multi-dimensional approach, multi-stakeholder approach, and internal convergence. Importantly, the SLP gives the participants themselves agency and decision-making responsibilities. The strategies all work together to achieve the improved economic sufficiency of poor families, through the engagement in quality livelihoods or jobs. SLP achieves this through 2 tracks, 4 modalities and 6 processes. The tracks, microenterprise development and employment facilitation, work through linking and providing access. The four modalities represent the tools used by SLP, and the 6 processes refer to the project management. Alfrey detailed these six stages to show how the SLP is practically carried out. Particularly important are the first 3 stages; area identification, participant identification and project identification.
Alfrey went onto detailing the two tracks of the SLP beginning with the Microenterprise Development Track, and moving onto Employment Facilitation. Alfrey emphasised that rather than creating opportunities, the SLP works to connect program participants with existing jobs and opportunities around them. During his presentation, Alfrey presented several case studies of enterprises funded by the SLP, and he noted that the majority of projects supported by the SLP are managed by women. The four modalities of the SLP were then described: skills training, seed capital fund, pre-employment assistance fund, cash for building livelihood assets. Alfrey provided detailed information and examples of all four modalities.
Alfrey concluded with data demonstrating the success of the SLP since its establishment in 2011. SLP accomplishments include achieving 97% of targeted program participants from 2011 to 2016; it has become an effective tool of social inclusion and productivity. Finally, Alfrey gave the audience an insight into the future plans for the SLP in 2017.
Following Alfrey’s comprehensive presentation, Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri provided several important discussion points. The SLP is very promising, Nassreena noted, particularly in working towards to the government’s aim to increase social and economic inclusiveness. Using evidence from the program has allowed for its evolution and there is potential for using this evidence even further. Nassreena then raised questions regarding 2 important aspects which remain for governments around the world: targeting, and optimal program design. Questions include: how to enhance targeting further, how progress can be made on consolidating the gains of the program, how the program can converge with other similar programs, and what is the most cost-effective aspect. There is, Nassreena concluded, a lot of opportunity for continued learning.
Lisa then opened a question and answer round, first inviting Alfrey to respond to Nassreena’s comments, and then posing questions submitted from the audience. The questions from the audience covered topics including graduation, the sustainability of results, the formulation and assessment of project and enterprise proposals, and finally the program’s impact on gender roles and equality. Lisa emphasised that all questions from the audience would be answered on the SPEC Online Community after the webinar. Thanking the speakers, organizers and attendees, Lisa concluded the webinar.
Watch the video here!
This blog post is part of the Linking Social Protection with humanitarian cash webinar series, which brings together the summaries of webinars organised by IFRC, UNICEF and DFID on the topic. Please join the Online Community Social Protection in MENA if you are interested in following the most recent discussions on the topic. If you have any thoughts on this webinar summary, we would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below!
Cover Image: Sustainable Livelihood Program, Philippines, available here