The Asia Pacific Social Protection Week 2019 (APSP 2019), a regional knowledge sharing event, will discuss challenges and opportunities to expand social protection in Asia and the Pacific region in response to demographic shifts and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The program will cover important issues such as social assistance, sustainable financing, pension reforms, aging and elderly care, climate change and disaster resilience, use of digital technology for service delivery, and the roles of government leaders and development agencies.

See the agenda and set calendar alerts, below:


Monday, September 9, 2019

09:00 - 09:25
(GMT +8)
Keynote Address
Bambang Susantono, Vice President (Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development), ADB

Advancing Social Protection Programs to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Despite significant progress in the expansion of social protection in many parts of Asia and the Pacific, social protection is not yet a reality for most of the Asia Pacific’s population. According to World Social Protection Report 2017/2019, only less than 45% of global population is effectively covered by at least one social benefit, while remaining 55%—4 billion people—are left unprotected. The keynote address highlights the need to extend social protection coverage and benefits to population in the informal economy to provide at least basic social protection to all.

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09:25 - 09:30
(GMT +8)
Video Message
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

Executive Secretary of UNESCAP

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09:30 - 10:30
(GMT +8)
Session 1
Social Protection and Human Capital Development

Enhancing “human capital and social protection for all” is one of the key areas of first operational priority of ADB’s Strategy 2030’s in addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities and essential contribution to the SDGs agenda to leave no one behind. There is widespread evidence that investing in people’s health, education and social protection is not only essential for their personal well-being but is critical for improved productivity and economic growth, as well as reduced inequality within societies. This session will discuss the importance of social protection in building human capital and how the countries have been able to do so in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines.

  • Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, ADB
  • Ernesto Pernia, Secretary, National Economic and Development Authority, Philippines
  • Ali Raza Bhutta, Secretary, Benazir Income Support Program, Pakistan

Moderator: Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, ADB

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10:45 - 12:00
(GMT +8)
Session 2
Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving the SDGs in Asia and the Pacific—Expanding Social Protection for All (Target 1 Point 3)

The Asia and Pacific region is increasingly cognizant of the social economic and potential development of social protection. Anchored on strong political commitment, sound policy design and inclusive dialogue, several of the region’s countries have successfully expanding social protection coverage and stand out as a global reference. The Panelists will discuss the ability of key stakeholders on striking the balance between economic growth and social inclusiveness in line with the S2030 SDGs agenda.

  • Vivi Yulaswati, Director for Alleviating Poverty and Development of Social Welfare, Bappenas, Indonesia
  • Valérie Schmitt, Deputy Director and Officer in Charge, Social Protection Department, ILO
  • Ermina Sokou, Social Affairs Officer, Social Development Division, UNESCAP

Moderator: Chiara Bronchi, Chief Thematic Officer, SDCC

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16:00 - 17:30
(GMT +8)
Session 4
Social Protection and Gender Equality: A New Lens to Promoting Inclusion and Empowerment

This plenary session will focus on a plenary lecture by ADB’s 2019 Distinguished Gender Speaker, Naila Kabeer, who will discuss a life course and gender approach to social protection. Women are often left behind by social protection policies which fail to take into account how gender inequalities prevent women from fully benefiting: women’s unpaid care and domestic responsibilities, their concentration in vulnerable, informal employment help explain the significant gender gaps in pensions, social insurance and the higher risk of poverty among women. Increasingly, policymakers are applying a gender lens to better overcome these inequalities through designing programs that can both reduce poverty and promote empowerment. Two respondents will provide examples of approaches that have proven to make social protection policies more inclusive and empowerment.

Keynote Speaker: Naila Kabeer, Professor of Gender and International Development at the Departments of International Development and Gender Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Tariq Mahmood, Director General (CT), Benazir Income Support Program, Pakistan
  • Reema Nanavaty, Executive Director, Self Employed Women's Association, India

Moderator: Sonomi Tanaka, Chief of Gender Equity Thematic Group, SDCC, ADB

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

09:00 - 10:00
(GMT +8)
Special Session
International Labour Organization’s Centenary Year (1919-2019)

Introduction of the Keynote Speaker: Vicky Tan, Principal Director, Department of Communications, ADB

Keynote Speaker: Tomoko Nishimoto, Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, ILO

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10:30 - 12:00
(GMT +8)
Session 5
The Changing World of Work: Challenges for Social Protection Systems - Technology, New Forms of Employment and Social Protection

As the region of Asia and the Pacific makes the shift to digital work platforms, the increasing use of the teleworking and expanding work opportunities in the platform and gig economies raise important questions about the future of social protection coverage, wages, promotion of labor rights, occupational safety and health regulations. The Panelists will discuss the key challenges and solutions for expanding social protection to workers in digital economy.

  • Finn Koh, International Consultant
  • Nuno Cunha, Senior Technical Specialist on Social Protection, ILO
  • Annabella Ng, GRAB Singapore
  • Rajapaksa Pallegedara Ananda Wimalaweera, Commissioner General of Labour, Department of Labour, Sri Lanka
  • Alexandre Kolev, Head, Social Cohesion Unit, OECD Development Centre

Moderator: Brajesh Panth, Chief of Education Sector Group, SDCC, ADB

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13:30 - 15:00
(GMT +8)
Session 6A
Targeted Cash Transfer Programs: Lessons from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines

Cash transfers programs are part of comprehensive social protection in achieving SDGs. The evidence shows significant impact of cash transfers on human capital outcomes and poverty reduction. However, cash only is not enough. Key challenges are institutional arrangements, capacity to manage programs, affordability, and financial sustainability. Further promoting transformational social protection such as birth registration, child protection. Family support service is critical element of ensuring quality and accessibility of basic services. The panelist will discuss lessons learned and challenges in expanding cash transfer programs.

  • Mokhamad O. Royani, Director of Social Security for Family, Ministry of Social Affairs, Indonesia
  • Gemma B. Gabuya, National Program Manager, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines
  • Tariq Mahmood, Director General (CT), Benazir Income Support Program
  • Aziz Haydarov, Senior Portfolio Management Specialist, Azerbaijan Resident Mission, ADB

Moderator: Ayako Inagaki, Human and Social Development Division, SERD, ADB

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15:30 - 17:00
(GMT +8)
Session 7A
Child Benefits in Asia: Experiences from Implementation

Child benefits are an essential part of social protection system and one of the most effective ways to combat child poverty and vulnerability. Research findings show that caregivers who are entrusted with the grant – mostly women – are investing the grant in good nutrition, schooling, care and other essentials. And in the context of widespread poverty and unemployment, the grant often benefits the entire household. The Panelists will discuss country experiences in implementing child grant programs.

  • Vivi Yulaswati, Director for Alleviating Poverty and Development of Social Welfare, Bappenas, Indonesia
  • Mangalsuren Tsogtbaatar, Head of Social Welfare Division, Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Mongolia
  • Teppawan Pornawalai, Deputy Director-General, Department of Children and Youth, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Thailand

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

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

09:00 - 9:30
(GMT +8)
Session 8
Social Security for Asia and the Pacific

Keynote Presentation - 10 Challenges for Social Security
Social security systems are an essential component of any strategy to reach universal social protection and significant progress has been made in extending social security coverage in a number of countries. In a fast-moving environment, strategies to further extend social security must be adapted to labor market transformations, demographic ageing and technological change. Based on the input of more than 50 social security institutions from the region, the ISSA has therefore identified the 10 most important challenges for social security in Asia and the Pacific. The session will introduce these challenges as well as emerging strategies and innovative solutions to address them.

Presenter:Maribel Ortiz, Senior Specialist in Governance, International Social Security Association

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11:15 - 12:45
(GMT +8)
Session 10A
Macroeconomic Stability of the Era of Aging Population

Aging presents a major challenge to fiscal sustainability in terms of decrease in revenue and increase in expenditure. Particularly, social expenditure on age-related programs, such as public pensions, health care and other social safety net, is constantly increasing, posing serious fiscal burden for developing countries. The risks posed by such demographic shift require urgent reforms on pension and healthcare and the tax systems that finance them. In this session, cross-country learning is key in understanding the macroeconomic challenges posed by this demographic shift and is important in defining appropriate responses. Panelists will share aging trends, social protection schemes and assess how well prepared and adaptable these are in light of aging and depopulation and explore various ways of financing social protection.

  • Charles Yuji Horioka, Asian Growth Institute, Japan
  • Taesuk Lee, Director, Department of Public Finance and Social Policy, Korea Development Institute
  • Utsav Kumar, Senior Country Economist, ADB Sri Lanka Resident Mission

Discussant: Maliki, Director of Population Planning and Social Protection, Bappenas, Indonesia
Moderator: Nella Sri Hendriyetty, Senior Capacity Building and Training Economist, ADBI

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14:00 - 15:30
(GMT +8)
Session 11A
Social Protection Implications of Long-term Care: Lessons from the Region and Beyond

The focus of the session is to make the links explicit between aging, care and social protection taking the lifecycle approach and provide examples of how these issues are gaining ground among policy makers. Xenia Scheil Adlung will outline how social protection policies mitigate risks faced by people with care needs and their carers, financial risks, policies beyond the provision of long-term care services, social protection for informal/ domestic workers and emerging concepts of flexible care leave and benefits for life course events.

  • Xenia Scheil-Adlung, UN Representative for Geneva / International Federation on Ageing
  • Titus Lee, Director for Aged Care Services, Ageing Planning Office, Ministry of Health, Government of Singapore
  • Maliki, Director of Population Planning and Social Protection, Bappenas, Indonesia
  • Rie Sato, Deputy Director, General Affairs Division & Office for Dementia Policy, Health and Welfare Bureau for the Elderly, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan
  • Worawan Plikhamin, Director of Social and Human Resource Division acting Senior Advisor in Policy and Plan, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, Thailand

Moderator: Wendy Walker, Chief of Social Development Thematic Group, SDCC, ADB

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

09:00 - 10:30
(GMT +8)
Session 13B
Adaptive Social Protection and Strengthening Resilience

Strengthening Climate and Disaster Resilience through Social Protection
When designed with climate and disaster risk considerations in mind, social protection programs can help ensure that people can anticipate and absorb the adverse impacts of hazards without taking unnecessary actions that put their lives at risk. This session will discuss why it is important to strengthen climate and disaster resilience through social protection programs, and how social protection programs can introduce ex ante measures to reduce risk and strengthen adaptive capacity of poor households and vulnerable groups.

  • Mary Anne E.R. Darauay, Director, Social Development Staff, NEDA, Philippines
  • M. Idrees Mahsud, Disaster Risk Reduction, National Disaster Management Authority, Pakistan
  • Hang Thi Thanh Pham, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
  • Joanne Pickles, DFAT, Indonesia

Moderator: Rachel Slater, Adaptive Social Protection Specialist, International Institute for Environment and Development

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11:00 - 12:30
(GMT +8)
Session 14C
Social Protection and Ending AIDS in Asia and the Pacific

The UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on HIV-sensitive Social Protection co-convened by the World Food Programme and the International Labour Organization within the context of the UNAIDS Division of Labour will conduct a panel discussion to throw light on different aspects of HIV-sensitive social protection and the challenges and opportunities to expand social protection coverage in Asia and the Pacific. This session will present the state of HIV-sensitive social protection in the region, new evidence emanating from the region, the potential synergies between HIV-sensitive social protection programs and universal health coverage, as well as explore opportunities to consistently advocate for the coverage of people living with HIV, key populations, and other vulnerable populations being left behind.

  • Shama Karkal, Chief Executive Officer Swasti Health Catalyst, Bangalore, Karnataka; India
  • Baby Rivona, Global on Global Programme Global Alliances for Social Protection, GIZ
  • Nella Sri Hendriyetty, National Coordinator of Indonesian Positive Women
  • Harry Prabowo, OIC, The Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (APN+) Bangkok, Thailand

Moderator:Kofi Amekudzi, HIV Officer, Nutrition Division, World Food Programme
  • Michael Smith, HIV Officer, Nutrition Division, World Food Programme
  • David Chipanta, Senior Advisor, Social Protection, UNAIDS

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September 9-12, 2019
ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines (GMT+8)
Available languages: English