15. Expert advice helpline (SPACE)


Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19 – Expert advice helpline (SPACE) 

Are you working to deliver social protection responses or humanitarian cash responses to COVID-19? Would unbiased expert advice help you make critical decisions? You can request direct support from SPACE by completing a request form or contacting [email protected]. For more information, also see the flyer on SPACE in English and Spanish.


Responding to COVID-19

Countries across the globe are using or adapting social protection systems and programmes, as well as humanitarian cash assistance, to respond to the COVID19 crisis. Getting assistance to those who need it quickly is helping to safeguard the wellbeing of individuals and families by enabling them to meet unexpected costs and compensate for loss of income – both in the immediate and longer term as countries enter periods of recession. 

Since April 2020, the SPACE service has been supporting decision-makers across national governments, donors and implementing partners with thinking through how to establish, maintain or adapt systems and programmes to meet rapidly growing needs. Demand for engagement with our multidisciplinary expert team, as well as our large and ever-expanding suite of guidance documents has proved so high that the service has now been extended to May 2021.


An overview of SPACE themes

To date, we have worked in over 40 countries providing independent, evidence-based, timely, practical, and actionable advice. Direct support is responsive to the unique requirements of specific actors and contexts but can broadly address the following themes:

  • Social protection and humanitarian linkages

  • Gender and social inclusion principles

  • Programme adaptation and phasing

  • Shock responsive social protection

  • Delivery systems including targeting and registration, transfer values, payment mechanisms, information management, communications, grievance redress mechanisms and monitoring and evaluation 

  • Recovery and systems strengthening

  • Digital technology

  • Anti-corruption

  • Economic impacts

  • Localisation 

  • Climate and environment 

  • Economic inclusion

Accessing direct SPACE Support

Support is predominantly provided in English, though Spanish and French can be offered on an ad hoc basis. Once your request has been received, SPACE will assign a technical point of contact, who will work with you and a team of relevant experts to understand your challenges and design appropriate support. Support packages can take many forms including:

  • Review of documents, reports, proposals, etc.

  • Consolidating relevant evidence around specific needs, knowledge gaps and questions

  • Mapping in-country systems and stakeholders engaged in the COVID-19 response

  • Direct, remote engagement with our experts including short-term assistance through calls and more sustained and flexible engagement.

SPACE is a joint initiative of FCDO’s Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) and Gender Responsive Social Protection (GSP) programmes (funded by UKAid); GIZ (funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development); and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). All costs related to accessing SPACE experts and services are covered by FCDO, GIZ and DFAT.

Implementation is led by DAI Global UK Ltd, with implementing partners High-Quality Technical Assistance for Results (HEART).

List of related documents:
1. SPACE Guidance Note on Rapid Expansion of Social Protection Caseloads
2. SPACE Gender and Social Inclusion (GESI) Reference Document
3. SPACE Strategy Decision Matrix
4. SPACE Evaluation Delivery System Matrix
5. SPACE Informal Workers and Social Protection
6. SPACE Useful COVID-19 and Social Protection Materials
7. SPACE Understanding the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Who, Where, How, and When?
8. SPACE Social Protection in the COVID-19 Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges
9. SPACE Options for rapid delivery (payment) of cash transfers for COVID-19 responses and beyond
10. Programming Guidance: Embedding Localisation in the Response to COVID-19
11. SPACE Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert advice helpline
12. SPACE Enfoques para la Protección Social en el contexto de COVID-19: Centro de asesoramiento
13. SPACE Strengthening Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) During the Implementation of Social Protection Responses to COVID-19
14. SPACE Social protection for older people during COVID-19 and beyond
15. SPACE Preparing for Future Shocks: Priority Actions for Social Protection Practitioners in the Wake of COVID-19
16. SPACE Guidance for Framing Case Studies on Social Protection Responses to COVID-19
17. SPACE Value for Money of Social Protection and Humanitarian Cash Transfers in the Context of COVID-19
18. SPACE Programming Options: ‘Cash Plus’ Approaches in the Response to COVID-19
19. SPACE The Potential Role of Economic Inclusion Programmes to Respond to Those Affected by COVID-19
20. SPACE Social Protection and Humanitarian Cash and Food Responses to COVID-19: Needs, Coverage, and Gaps
21. Guía de programación: Incorporación de una adaptación local en la respuesta al COVID-19
22. Fortalecimiento de la igualdad de género y de la Inclusión social (gesi, por sus siglas en inglés) durante la implementación de las respuestas de protección social al COVID-19
23. SPACE Economics of Early Response and Resilience to COVID-19: Ethiopia
24. SPACE How Targeting Mechanisms Can Identify People With Disabilities for Inclusion in Social Protection Programmes
25. SPACE Inclusive Information Systems for Social Protection: Intentionally Integrating Gender and Disability
26. COVID-19 and the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) and Conditional Cash Transfers for Education (CCTE) programmes
27. SPACE Useful COVID-19 and Social Protection Materials
28. SPACE Transfer Values: How Much Is Enough? Balancing social protection and humanitarian considerations
29. Drivers of Timely and Large-Scale Cash Responses to COVID-19: what does the data say?
We invite you to visit the Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19 - Expert Advice Helpline (SPACE) Stakeholder's profile at socialprotection.org.