Profiles of pre-COVID-19 social protection systems in Bhutan, Bangladesh and Maldives and a snapshot of their COVID-19 responses


Before elaborating a paper series on Covid-responsive Social Protection Landscapes in South Asia, the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia and the IPC-IG have developed a paper series on Regular Social Protection Landscapes in the region. These studies have been discussed from a regional and comparative perspective in the first three rounds of the webinar series: Social Protection in South Asia - the landscape before COVID-19, a snapshot into responses to the crisis and the paths ahead. The fourth webinar of the series was dedicated to Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The fifth webinar was dedicated to India and Pakistan.

And now, for the last webinar of this series, we topped it off with a webinar dedicated to Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives. The last webinar of the series discussed a vast set of features ranging from social expenditure profiles, legal frameworks for child-sensitive social protection, the actual design of flagship initiatives, and how child and gender-sensitive they are. It also contextualized these features in view of findings from impact evaluations and took a glance at core COVIDV-19 responses from social protection.

Some core questions addressed in this webinar included:

  • What were the core features connecting legal, fiscal and programme level aspects of social protection programmes and policies in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives previous to the COVID-19 crisis?
  • How have the COVID-19 crisis and the social protection responses deployed to mitigate its impacts altered the pre-COVID-19 landscape in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives?
  • Which social protection agendas have gained most relevance in the transition from pre-COVID-19 to the current COVID-19 context in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives?
  • What are the upcoming social protection agendas aimed to address both structural and conjunctural challenges faced by the social protection systems of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives?



Fabianna Ferreira, Researcher, IPC-IG

Krista Alvarenga, Researcher, IPC-IG

Mekonnen Woldegorgis, Chief Social Policy, Evaluation, Analytics and Research - SPEAR, UNICEF Bangladesh



Abdul Alim, Regional Social Policy Advisor, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia – ROSA


This was the last webinar of the Series ''Social Protection in South Asia – the landscape before the Covid-19, and a snapshot into responses to the crisis and the paths ahead'', jointly organised by the IPC-IG, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), and Country Offices.