February 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the new edition of socialprotection.org’s newsletter!
This issue is dedicated to the theme of old age pension, and to start the debate we are glad to share a brand new report published by HelpAge International addressing old age income security in five Asian countries.

The findings of this report will be presented in an upcoming webinar this week. We also bring to you this month an interesting webinar on the design and implementation of monitoring and evaluations systems in Brazil and Mexico. 

In line with the goal of socialprotection.org to foster knowledge-sharing, we are pleased to announce a new Blog area on the platform, where you, as a member, can share your own blog post with social protection practitioners around the globe. 

Finally, we are also glad to announce that a new team of Ambassadors has been selected and will soon engage in activities to help us promote the socialprotection.org platform worldwide. 

Enjoy your reading!
Virtual Campus
This month, socialprotection.org is pleased to present the following webinars:
Thursday 16 February
8AM - 9:30AM (GMT)

Recent years have seen growing investments in social protection across countries in Asia, and old age pensions have been a significant part of the picture. As countries in the region experience rapid population ageing over the coming decades, the issue of old age social protection will become even more relevant. However, analysis remains limited on the extent to which these emerging social protection measures are successful in ensuring income security in old age.  This webinar will discuss the findings from new research by HelpAge International, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Thursday 23 February (in Spanish)
2PM - 3:30PM (GMT -2)

The webinar aims at sharing experiences in the implementation of a monitoring and evaluation system (M&E) of social policies. It will be held in Spanish, and will discuss the challenges involved  in developing a legal framework for  an M&E system, and key questions when planning and implementing evaluations. It is an opportunity to learn more about the remarkable experience of the Mexican CONEVAL as well as the experience of practitioners in Mexico and Brazil. Read more.

Missed a webinar?
All recordings of the past webinars are  available on the platform after each session. 

Recently, socialprotection.org hosted the webinar BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation Approach: evidence, innovations and intersection with social protection, on 7 February. This was the second webinar of the series on Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment, organised by the Social Protection for Employment Community (SPEC). If you missed it, you can view the presentation, and listen to the session recording here. The summary of this webinar is available on the Blog area

On 31 January, the platform hosted the webinar “Social Protection Investment Case - the example of Uganda”, organized by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Uganda - Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, and Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI). You can view the presentation, and listen to the session recording here, and read the Blog post summarizing the webinar here

Likewise, here you can listen to the recording and view the presentation of the webinar “Constituency Building and Fiscal Space for Social Protection - Navigating Political Space”, organized by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and HelpAge International, on 26 January. Read the Blog post summarizing the webinar here.


Pension Scheme for Senior Citizens approved in India
This month, India’s Union Cabinet  approved a pension scheme for senior citizens to be implemented through the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Known as the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana-2017 (VPBY-2017), it will provide a guaranteed return of 8% for 10 years and is part of the government’s commitment to financial inclusion and social security. The scheme will provide social security during old age and protect elderly persons aged 60 years and above against  future falls in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions. Read the full article here.

Turkey will launch project to pay grandmothers to take care of grandchildren
The Government of Turkey will launch a pilot project to pay grandmothers under the age of 65 to take care of their grandchildren. The project will start operating in March, initially with 5,000 families from the provinces of Istanbul and Bursa. Read more here
Publications Search
Old age income security in Asia
Our colleagues at HelpAge International shared a  new report titled “Work, family and social protection – Old age income security in Bangladesh, Nepal the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam”, which is being globally launched today! The study delves into a  wide array of existing data to shed greater light on the nature of old age income security in those five selected countries.

Social Pensions in Sub-Saharan Africa
Mr. Raiden Dillard, Knowledge Management Officer at  the Social Protection & Labor Global Practice at the World Bank Group (WBG), shared the Discussion Paper “Benefits and Costs of Social Pensions in Sub-Saharan Africa”, authored by Melis U. Guven and Phillippe G. Leite, and published by the WBG. This paper explores the role of universal social pensions in 12 Sub-Saharan African countries, showing that they may be part of the answer to the coverage gap in pensions and may be important from a human rights perspective. 

SDGs and Social Security in Asia 
Ms. Maria Fernanda Villari, socialprotection.org’s ambassador in Italy, shared the working paper “Sustainable Development Goals, Population Ageing, and Social Security in Asia”, authored by Rafal Chomik, and published by the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR). The study shows that Asian countries are at varying stages of developing comprehensive social security systems. Many have seen great progress, but further work is needed. 
Online Community

We invite you to join the Online Community Social Protection for Employment – Community (SPEC). It is organized by the Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). In the community page you have access to all its activities, including the webinar series on Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment.

World Social Work Day 2017
The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the School of Social Work Geneva (HETS-Genève) are organising the event “World Social Work Day 2017: What can social work contribute and which competencies are needed to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?”, to be held in Geneva, on 21 March.  Read more here
Training Course: Social Protection instruments throughout the life cycle
The objective of this course is to develop the competencies of civil servants,  providing them with the conceptual bases of social protection and knowledge about public policies, programmes and regulatory frameworks that, from a human rights approach, promote greater social equality and expand coverage and the benefits of social protection throughout the life cycle in Latin America. This course will be delivered in Spanish, and is organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Read more here in Spanish.
Discussion Forum
Looking for a new job opportunity? 

We have news for you: FAO is looking for a Senior Economist, and UNICEF announced a Social Protection Specialist position.

Just visit, in the Discussion Forum area, under the Connect tab, the forum titled "Institutions and Networking", and you can explore job opportunities and calls for papers announced by our partners.
Likewise, we also invite you to post your own job opportunities and calls for papers in the field of social protection, to share with our specialised community!
New Feature
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Blog area on socialprotection.org, where members can share their knowledge and opinion on social protection matters by posting their own articles, comments and questions. To access the Blog, just go to the Learn tab.

How it works: As any other content on the platform, each contribution will go through a moderation process by the socialprotection.org team to revise the post’s adequacy in terms of content and grammar. 

In addition to member posts, the blog will host a number of series namely: Sponsored Series, Ambassadors Series, and Webinar Series. For the Sponsored Series, every six months the socialprotection.org team will work with partners to structure a series of blog posts dedicated to the same topic. The platform’s Ambassadors will be invited to blog under the scope of the Ambassadors Series. Finally, in the Webinar Series, we will post summaries of each webinar hosted by socialprotection.org , to further facilitate knowledge sharing. 

The inaugural posts summarize the last three webinars hosted by the platform. We invite you to read and blog here.

Ambassador Programme
For the 2017 Ambassadors Programme, we received over 150 applications from candidates all over the world, and after a first careful selection, 50 people were selected. They represent a gender-balanced group from all regions

In the coming newsletters, we will present the new Ambassadors, distributed per region. In this issue, we start with the overall view of them by region.