The International Conference aims to share experiences from Nepal and other countries (in the region) to promote informed policy debate and decision-making to support the Government of Nepal and the relevant ministries in its efforts to promote and advance its social protection agenda for a more inclusive future for all.

See the agenda and set calendar alerts, below:


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

09:00 - 10:30
(GMT +5.45)
Inauguration Session
Social Protection in South Asia: Investing in an inclusive future

Introductory or keynote speeches provided by high-level speakers to set the stage, guide the conference and share broader political direction and vision under the broader umbrella of investing in social protection for a more inclusive future.

Session Chair: Hon'ble Dr. Ram Kumar Phuyal, Member, National Planning Commission, GoN
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairperson, BRAC, Bangladesh

Remarks by:

  • Ms. Elke Wisch, Representative, UNICEF Nepal
  • Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives
  • Ms. Lisa Honan, Head of DFID Nepal

Chief Guest- Hon. Minister of Finance, Dr. Yubaraj Khatiwda

  Watch recording    
11:00 - 12:30
(GMT +5.45)
Policy dialogue 1
Addressing Inequalities in South Asia through Social Protection Policies

Inequality remains at the top of the development agenda, with rising evidence about the impacts of poverty and unequal life chances on productivity and growth. This session will explore some of the key trends shaping the poverty and inequality debate in the region, as well as recent advances in measuring inequality of opportunity, to frame the debate on the importance of social protection as a key tool to reduce inequalities in its multiple forms and achieve a more sustainable development.

Chair:Mr. Balananda Paudel, Chair, National Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission, GoN

  • Mr. Patrik Andersson,, Chief of the Sustainable Socioeconomic Transformation Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
  • Dr. Baikuntha Aryal, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, GoN
  • H.E. Ms. Fathimath Yumna, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services, Maldives
  • Dr. Abdul Alim, Regional Social Policy Advisor, UNICEF
  • Mr. Stefano Paternostro, Practice Manager, Social Protection and Jobs, South Asia Region, World Bank

  Watch recording    
14:00 - 15:30
(GMT +5.45)
Policy dialogue 2
Investing in the future: Child and family benefits

In this session, panellists will discuss experiences, potential and challenges of child and family benefits, such as Child Grants, as a key way to invest in future generations. The session will discuss Nepal’s current plans to expand the Child Grant and bring other experiences on how different countries have moved towards universal coverage. It will discuss some of the emerging evidences about Cash plus and how other key services can enhance impacts.

Chair: Hon'ble Dr. Usha Jha, Member, National Planning Commission, GoN

Presentation: Dr. Michael Samson, Director of Research, Economic Policy Research Institute, South Africa

  • Mr. Deepak Kafle, Director General, Department of National ID and Civil Registration, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoN
  • Ms. Preksha Golchha, Senior Research Fellow, Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), South Africa
  • Dr. Somchai Jitsuchon, Thailand Development Research Institute
  • Ms. Sanghamitra Ghosh, Secretary, Department of Women, Child Development & Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal

  Watch recording    
16:00 - 17:30
(GMT +5.45)
Policy dialogue 3.
Shock-responsive social protection: Building resilience and protection against shocks

Panellists will discuss the role of social protection systems in helping states respond to natural disasters and shocks. The session will reflect on recent experience and research on shock responsive social protection in Nepal and set it within the international context of different approaches to shock responsive social protection. The aim of the session will be to take stock of where Nepal is and what the potential is for Nepal to develop its social protection system to be more shock responsive in the future.

Chair: Ms. Indu Ghimire, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoN

  • Ms. Clare O’Brien, Senior Adviser on Social Protection, World Food Programme
  • Ms. Alexandra Yuster, Associate Director and Chief of Social Policy, UNICEF NYHQ
  • Mr. Daniel Clarke, Director, Centre for Global Disaster Protection
  • Dr. Thomas Walker, Senior Economist, World Bank

  Watch recording    

Thursday, September 19, 2019

09:15 - 11:00
(GMT +5.45)
Policy dialogue 4.
Improving productivity through social protection

In addition to providing a safety net for the most vulnerable people, social protection can also support people to become more productive and increase their productivity. This can also facilitate people to move up the ladder of prosperity. In some parts of the work, public works plus or second and third generation public works programs have proven how productive social protection can function successfully.

Chair: Mr. Binod K.C., Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, GoN

  • Dr. Rachel Slater, Professor, University of Wolverhampton
  • Mr. Bjorn Johannessen, Senior Specialist on Employment Intensive Investments, International Labour Organization
  • Mr. Phillippe Leite, Senior Social Protection Economist, World Bank
  • Mr. Prakash Dahal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, GoN

  Watch recording    
11:15 - 13:15
(GMT +5.45)
Policy dialogue 5
Promoting Social Inclusion: Impacts of social protection on vulnerable groups

This session will look at how to design inclusive and robust social protection programmes that reach and support particularly disadvantaged and excluded groups such as persons living with disabilities, minorities, and women and policy options to consider when designing inclusive schemes.

Chair: Mr. Chandra K Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens, GoN

  • Ms. Ermina Sokou, Social Affairs Officer, Social Development Division, ESCAP
  • Mr. Mitra Lal Sharma, President, National Federation of the Disabled Nepal
  • Mr. Ram Prasad Ghimire, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, GoN
  • Mr. Ahmet Tunc Demirtas, Expert for Family, Labour and Social Services, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services of Republic of Turkey
  • Mr. MD. Abul Hossain,
  • Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare, Bangladesh
  • Ms. Tahereh Zandi, First Secretary, Division of International Specialized Agencies, Islamic Republic of Iran

  Watch recording    
14:00 - 16:15
(GMT +5.45)
Policy dialogue 6
Developing systems: Policy integration, implementation systems and financing

This session will discuss the systematic approaches of social protection to ensure that people are covered against poverty and risks throughout the lifecycle. The discussion will shed light on how individual social protection tools such as basic insurance and social insurance are to be efficiently interlinked. The discussion will also focus on the policy formulation process, particularly how the social protection strategies are to be coordinated with those of other sectors, including employment and food security. The session will also discuss how integrated social protection information systems can be developed in Nepal.

Chair: Mr. Shreekrishna Nepal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoN

  • Director, National Planning Commission, GoN
  • Dr. Franziska Gassmann, Professor of Social Protection and Development, Maastricht University
  • Pinaki Chakraborty, Chief of Social Policy, Chennai Office, UNICEF India
  • Dr. Said Mirza Pahlevi, Head of Data and Information Centre, Ministry of Social Affairs, Government of Indonesia

  Watch recording    
16:45 - 17:45
(GMT +5.45)
Closing session
  • Hon'ble Dr. Ram Kumar Phuyal, Member, National Planning Commission, GoN to present the Call to Action
  • Remarks by Hon'ble Prof. Dr. Puspa Raj Kadel, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission, GoN
  • Closing remarks by Mr. Gokarna Bista, Hon'ble Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, GoN

  Watch recording    
September 18-19, 2019
Social Protection Task Team (SPTT) Kathmandu, Nepal (GMT+5)
Available languages: English


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