The International Conference on Resilient Social Protection

In South Asia, as in the rest of the world, there is increasing momentum towards the expansion of social protection schemes in line with SDG 1.3, the Social Protection Floors Recommendation and the Global Partnership on Universal Social Protection.

Social assistance programmes not only protect livelihoods, but evidence finds they also have multiplier effects on local economies, enhancing prosperity and inclusive growth. However, substantial coverage gaps remain in key programmes for vulnerable groups such as child and family benefits, maternity protection, unemployment protection and disability benefits. Countries in South Asia spend less than 0.2 per cent of GDP on social protection for children compared with 1.1 per cent of GDP across the globe.

Between 2006 and 2014, Nepal halved its multidimensional poverty index, and extreme poverty fell by two thirds. Nevertheless, it is estimated that a quarter of the population still live below the poverty line, and inequalities are a rising concern. Following the 2015 Constitution, which guarantees the right to social security for the economically and socially vulnerable, Nepal has continued to invest in its social protection system by expanding flagship social assistance programmes, such as its Child Cash Grant towards a universal approach, and is also on its way to introducing new protections through social insurance and labour market schemes.

The International Conference on Resilient Social Protection for an Inclusive Future aims to support the Government of Nepal to deliver in its vision to deliver a core package of social protection for all and become a more prosperous nation, with a focus on the next generation and the most vulnerable. Recognising that there are many paths towards universal social protection, and programmes in different countries have followed different paths towards their expansion and consolidation, the Conference aims to bring regional experience and practice to offer a realistic path to support Nepal achieve on this ambition moving forward.

The Conference will focus specifically on social security allowances/cash transfers including (but not limited to) the following themes.

  • Child and family benefits such as child grants
  • Linking cash transfers with key services
  • Productive inclusion programmes aimed at increasing productivity and labour market participation
  • Shock-responsive social protection
  • Programmes reaching minority and particularly disadvantaged groups, such as disability grants

The conference is organised by the National Planning Commission (Government of Nepal) and Social Science Baha in collaboration with International Labour Organisation, GIZ, UN ESCAP, The World Bank, UNICEF and UKAid.