ODI Series Ep. 5 | ODA financing for social protection: lessons from the Covid-19 crisis response

This is the fifth episode of the “Covid-19: a turning point for social protection?” podcast series.

In the months of June and July, the Social Protection Podcast is hosting a special series in partnership with ODI and GIZ. Across six episodes, our guest host Francesca Bastagli, Director of the Equity and Social Policy programme and Principal Research Fellow at ODI, will moderate conversations around the guiding question: “Covid-19: a turning point for social protection?”.

These six episodes are part of an ODI research project, funded by GIZ, on the emerging evidence and learning from social protection measures adopted in the early months, and within the first year, of the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. It asks how effective have social protection responses to Covid-19 to date been, especially for some of those hardest hit, including refugees, women, informal workers and people living in urban areas? What policy features enabled or hindered adequate crisis response? And, while many of the measures are temporary, what potential opportunities and risks do they present for strengthening social protection in the long term?

The ODI-GIZ study covers six thematic areas, each with an accompanying paper. Each week of this podcast special series, Francesca will be joined by the lead author of one of the papers, along with an expert discussant.

This episode explores the financing of social protection during Covid-19 and beyond, with a focus on international financing and Official Development Assistance (ODA). Both prior to and during the pandemic, ODA played a critical role in supporting social protection provision in many low and middle-income countries. The Covid-19 response has prompted adjustments in ODA flows, instruments and processes. Which measures facilitated, or hindered, the timely mobilisation and disbursement of resources for social protection crisis response? What are the emerging trade-offs, risks and opportunities for addressing the social protection financing gap in the longer term? And what lessons are emerging for the equitable and sustainable provision of social protection going forward?

This episode was inspired by the ODI-GIZ project thematic paper “Official development assistance financing for social protection: Lessons from the Covid-19 response” by Anna McCord, Cécile Cherrier, Nathalie Both and Francesca Bastagli (2021).


Our guests this week are:

  • Anna McCord, Research Associate, Equity and Social Policy, ODI
  • Michal Rutkowski, Global Director for Social Protection and Jobs, World Bank


Episode links

Webinar recording - Taking stock at the one-year mark: social protection during COVID-19 and beyond

Other episodes in this series

ODI series Ep. 1 | Social protection provisions to refugees during the Covid-19 pandemic

ODI Series Ep. 2 | National cash transfer responses to Covid-19: operational lessons

ODI Series Ep. 3 | Covid-19: crisis as opportunity for urban cash transfers?

ODI Series Ep. 4 | Have social protection responses to Covid-19 undermined or supported gender equality?

ODI Series Ep. 6 | Covid-19 crisis: opportunities and risks for extending social protection to informal workers