The big SP e-Vent: You spoke up, we listened - but what should we do next?


The past nineteen months have been difficult. Countries are facing the challenge of adapting and leveraging social protection programmes and systems for COVID responses. One year after the discussions held during the  “Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What’s next for social protection?" ongoing efforts to make countries' social protection systems more responsive are still in place. 

In this context, actors from different sectors have been working hard to respond, recover and build more effective and sustainable systems. Although their roles in this process have been marked with several advances, there is sometimes a feeling of frustration and disappointment.

Aiming to offer an inclusive space where these actors could simply ‘let off steam’ about what really bothered and motivated them while working in this sector during COVID-19, the platform created a Forum (the ‘e-vent’). In this space professionals had the chance to honestly and anonymously ‘vent’ about their thoughts and difficulties in this period.  Numerous interesting and thought-provoking discussions were shared in the Forum.

By weaving from these discussions, the platform, in collaboration with SPACE, NORCAP and other stakeholders, organised a follow-up (live) event to formalise the main ‘vents’ shared and to mark’s 6th anniversary, The big SP e-Vent: You spoke up, we listened - but what should we do next?' held on 16 November at 2pm (GMT).

This meeting brought together key stakeholders representing governments, UN, donors, NGOs and humanitarians to collectively reflect on different (and sometimes common) challenges, such as the difficulties in strengthening the links between humanitarian and social protection responses, establishing cooperation among agencies and committing to universality. Speakers were invited to bring to light the blind spots of these and other discussions, and to have their own say about possibilities to build forward better as a community.

The meeting was collaborative, as the public was able to directly interact with discussants, raising other important and critical aspects to be addressed during the event.

You can access the links and resources shared during the e-vent here.

We hope that this constructive dialogue moment stimulated synergies, understanding of different perspectives and somehow contributes to a collective reflection on what is not working well, so that we can improve together.


  • Cecilia Mbaka, Head National Social Protection Secretariat, Government of Kenya
  • Petrona Davies, Social Policy Specialist, Ministry of Health and Social Development, British Virgin Islands
  • Natalia Winder Rossi, Director, Social Policy and Social Protection, UNICEF
  • Kathryn Taetzsch, Global Director, Humanitarian Partnerships/ Cash & Voucher Based Programming, Disaster Management, World Vision International
  • Yolande Wright, Global Director Child Poverty, Climate and Urban, Save the Children
  • Sigrid Kühlke, Thematic Expert Forced Displacement/ Migration, Nexus and Social Protection - Africa, ECHO
  • Marie-Rose Romain Murphy, Co-Founder and President of ESPWA and of Fondation Communautaire Haitienne-Espwa/The Haiti Community Foundation


  • Zehra Rizvi, Social protection in emergencies specialist (consultant).