October 2016 Newsletter
This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to be celebrated on 17 October, and to the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 1), which calls for an end to poverty in all its manifestations by 2030. However, despite the steady decline in extreme poverty worldwide, a new study on poverty released this month by the World Bank Group (the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report) estimates that nearly 800 million people lived on less than USD 1.90 a day in 2013. The same study indicates that cash transfer programmes are one of the six high-impact policies and programmes that have a proven track record of reducing inequality.

When discussing the expansion of cash transfer programmes in particular, and social protection systems in general, the financial sustainability of these programmes and systems is a clear concern for policymakers around the globe. In this light, the webinar "Fiscal space for social protection: social compacts for sustainable financing of social protection systems", to be hosted by socialprotection.org this month, will address the subject, featuring presentations from Dr. Armando Barrientos and Dr. Michael Herrmann. 

We are also pleased to share with you two new publications, provided by the members of the platform, on social protection systems in Malawi and Vietnam. 

Enjoy your reading!
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Virtual Campus

This month, socialprotection.org is pleased to present you the following webinars:
Martina Ulrichs shared the webinar "From shock response to long-term resilience: What is the role of social protection?' Come and join experts from the Overseas Development institute (ODI) and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre to discuss this topic. The webinar will present findings from recent BRACED research in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia
18 October
1PM - 2PM
(London, UK, time)

Fiscal space for social protection: social compacts for sustainable financing of social protection systems. In the third webinar of the Fiscal Space for Social Protection: Knowledge Sharing Initiative Webinar Series, Dr. Armando Barrientos, professor of Poverty and Social Justice at the University of Manchester, and Dr. Michael Herrmann, Senior Adviser on Economics and Demography at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will be the panellists, and Dr. Daniel Horn, Economic Adviser for social protection at HelpAge International, will join as moderator. This webinar series is being jointly organised by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and HelpAge International.

28 October
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
(Washington DC time)


Cash transfer programmes are among the six high-impact policies and programmes adopted by countries worldwide, with a proven track record of reducing inequality. They were highlighted on the inaugural edition of the Poverty and Shared Prosperity report published by the World Bank Group on 2 October. Read the full report here.

On 21 September, during the United Nations General Assembly, world leaders and representatives from the World Bank Group and the International Labour Organization (ILO) announced the launch of the new Global Partnership for Universal Social Protection, which “aims to help countries reach all poor and vulnerable groups with a variety of measures to ensure that nobody lacks access to key forms of support when needed”. The new partnership brings together dedicated development partners such as the African Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the European Commission, HelpAge International, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Save the Children, the IPC-IG, UNICEF, along with Belgian, Finnish, French and German technical cooperation agencies. Read the full article here
Online Communities
On the subject of financing social protection, we invite you to join the Online Community (OC) on Fiscal space for social protection: knowledge sharing initiative. This OC is supported by HelpAge International and the IPC-IG.

We also invite you to join the OC on Gender and Social Protection, the creation of which was prompted by the Gender and Social Protection Webinar Series . It is organised by the IPC-IG and the FAO.

The Southern African Social Protection Experts Network (SASPEN) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES) will host an international conference on ‘Comprehensive Social Protection in the SADC in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 18-19 October. Mario Gyoeri, IPC-IG Research Associate, and Raquel Tebaldi, IPC-IG Research Assistant, will be in attendance. The conference will address three themes: comprehensive social protection systems; comprehensive social policies; and comprehensive vulnerability analysis. For more information, click here.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ruhr-University Bochum (RUB) and the African Law Association will host a conference on ‘Law for Development: Strengthening Social Protection Systems in Africa’, in Berlin, Germany, on 10-11 November. For more information, click here

Publications Search
Christina Boateng shared the report titled “Social Assistance in Vietnam: Review and Proposals for Reform”, which provides an overview of Vietnam’s national social protection system. The publication details the strengths and weaknesses of the current national social protection system and shows that, if Vietnam were to adopt a more inclusive lifecycle social protection system—at an initial cost of no more than 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP)—the reforms would have significant impacts on poverty rates and economic growth. The document was prepared by Development Pathways to support the Government of Vietnam as it developed its new “Masterplan for Social Assistance Reform”. It was financed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and was undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Charles Knox-Vydmanov shared HelpAge International’s new study “Realising income security in old age: A study into the feasibility of a universal old age pension in Malawi”. This publication advises the Government of Malawi, which is currently pursuing a number of policy initiatives to create a supportive environment to address the concerns of the elderly. The report begins by analysing the wider context of poverty and inequality in Malawi, then goes on to review the effectiveness of current social protection interventions, including pensions, the Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCTP) and other forms of social assistance. Finally, it explores the rationale for a universal social pension in Malawi—including documenting its projected impacts—before assessing the affordability of different scenarios.
This month we launched the ‘Meet our Ambassadors’ campaign, in recognition of the work of all volunteers who participate in activities related to providing content, knowledge exchange and networking to socialprotection.org, helping in the promotion and dissemination of the platform. 

Therefore, on every Friday, our followers on Facebook and Twitter will have the chance to meet one of the socialprotection.org ambassadors. We start with Ms. Nicola Yon, from Zimbabwe.