From Evidence to Action for Children: the Role of Evidence, Research and Knowledge to Strengthen Social Protection Systems in Asia and Pacific


Since 2018, the Social Protection Support Initiative at the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office has contributed to improving the quality, timeliness, consistency, and continuity of evidence-based social protection policy making. Originally designed for East Asia and Pacific, the initiative was made available to other countries in Asia and then to other regions. It was devised with the intention of strengthening the amount of available evidence in the East Asia and Pacific region, where there has traditionally been less evidence generated on social protection compared to other regions such as Latin America or Africa. Based on the wealth of knowledge gained during these years, a new book of compiled articles offers an overview of the insights and understanding gained through the commissioned research and presents an in-depth account of social protection programmes in different countries.

In this webinar, which features findings from the book, academics, practitioners, development partners, and policymakers discussed the role of evidence in informing the design, implementation, and scaling up of social protection systems to ensure that they reach the most vulnerable children and families. The webinar explored challenges and opportunities for strengthening evidence-based policy making in social protection in the East Asia and the Pacific region, including issues related to financing, coordination, and sustainability. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the webinar identified key priorities and actions to strengthen the generation of future evidence for social protection policy formulation and program implementation for children and their families.


Opening: Myo-Zin Nyunt, Deputy Regional Director, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office

Closing remarks: Natalia Winder-Rossi, Director of Social Policy and Social Protection, UNICEF Headquarters

Andrea Rossi, Regional Advisor Social Policy and Economic Analysis, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office 

Nyasha Tirivayi, Social Policy Manager - UNICEF’s Office of Research- Innocenti

Rhodora Alday, Director of Policy Development and Planning Bureau - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Philippines

Prof. Somchai Jitsuchon, Research Director of Inclusive Development - Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Thailand

Sreng Sophornreaksmey, Director of Social Assistance Department, General Secretariat for the National Social Protection Council, Cambodia

Felicity O’Brien, Assistant Director Social Protection, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australia

Moderator: Ruben Villanueva, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office 



Andrea Rossi and Ruben Villanueva (eds), Social Protection in East Asia and Pacific: From Evidence to Action for Children, UNICEF, Bangkok, 2023