Towards shock-responsive social protection: lessons from the COVID-19 response in six countries


Almost all countries have adapted their social protection systems to support households and mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses have differed widely and included both the development of new social protection programmes, as well as the expansion and adaptation of existing programmes.

The research "Towards shock-responsive social protection" examines how the social protection programmes, processes, and delivery systems in the six Maintains countries–Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Uganda–have been used to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and to understand the factors that have enabled successful responses, as well as the factors that have constrained them. The study aims to identify policy recommendations to inform and influence investments in social protection systems to prepare for future shocks.

The webinar presented the main findings from the Maintains research and facilitated a discussion between Maintains researchers, FCDO (Kenya), and SPACE to situate the findings within the broader context within study countries and the global literature on shock-responsiveness from before COVID-19 and lessons from social protection responses to COVID-19 in other countries. The purpose of the discussion is to highlight and discuss some of the less explored findings from the research and what this might mean for preparing for future shocks, including those that are less predictable, in the future.



Alexandra Doyle, Maintains Study Lead and Lead Researcher: Kenya and Uganda, Consultant at Oxford Policy Management

Jana Bischler, Maintains Lead Researcher: Ethiopia, Consultant at Oxford Policy Management



Anthony Njage, Team Leader – Poverty, Hunger and Vulnerability, FCDO Kenya

Valentina Barca, Team Leader – SPACE, Independent Consultant

Madhumitha Hebbar, Maintains Lead Researcher: Bangladesh, Independent Consultant



Rodolfo Beazley, Maintains Team leader, Independent Consultant