SPEC Webinar 10: Aligning Public Employment Programmes and Adaptive Social Protection


Adaptive Social Protection is conceptualised as a series of measures aimed to build resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable people to climate change by combining elements of social protection, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation (Arnall et al. 2010 cited in World Bank 2018). PEPs are designed as labour-intensive infrastructure development initiatives aimed to provide cash transfers, food-based payments, livelihood generation, etc.

Against this background, GIZ and the socialprotection.org platform organised a webinar on ‘Aligning Public Employment Programmes (PEP) and Adaptive Social Protection.’ The objective was to share the learning, experiences and way forward from a Global Practitioner’s Knowledge Exchange event that was organised in New Delhi India in March 2019, as well as to build upon the webinar participants’ inputs to strengthen this thematic agenda furthermore. The documentation report of the Global Practitioner’s Knowledge Exchange was also launched during the webinar.

The event in March 2019 focussed on the knowledge and experience of MGNREGA (short for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) from India, which is the largest public works programme in the world with a coverage of 128.5 million families and an annual expenditure of above EUR 8 billion. Practitioners involved in implementing Public Employment and Social Protection Programmes in 6 countries, namely Ethiopia, Malawi, Cambodia, Nepal, Mexico and Peru attended this peer-learning and exchange event, allowing for a broad mutual sharing of successes, challenges and ideas. In times of persistent poverty and increasing stress on communities through climate change, programmes like the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) in India and the PSNP (Productive Safety Nets Programme) in Ethiopia are working to pave the way of aligning PEPs for managing climate-related shocks and enhancing resilience of rural communities towards disaster resilience. Developing and driving this agenda forward was not only the focus of the knowledge sharing event in March of this year, but was hence also the emphasis of the webinar.

The key questions addressed during this webinar were:

  1. How can PEPs effectively be used to reduce the occurrence of recurring disasters such as droughts, floods etc?
  2. How can PEPs act as temporary assistance mechanisms during sudden climate-related shocks?
  3. How can PEPs ensure that the needs of poor and vulnerable communities and women are addressed adequately during climate shocks and extreme weather events?


Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Programme Team, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India

Dr. N.H. Ravindranath, Centre for Sustainable Technologies Indian Institute of Science 

Mr. Nikos Nikolidakis, Programme Component Manager Africa/ Asia Global Alliances for Social Protection, GIZ


Mr. Rajeev Ahal, Director of Natural Resource Management, GIZ India


This webinar was the tenth of the Linking Social Protection to Sustainable Employment webinar series, which was organized by GIZ and SPEC. Please join the Online community Social Protection for Employment if you are interested in following the most recent discussions on the topic.