Taking stock at the one-year mark: social protection during COVID-19 and beyond


An unprecedented number of social protection measures have been announced since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Policy adjustments and innovations under way include efforts to address social protection gaps and expand support in the immediate instance. They also hold potential to strengthen social protection in the long-term. At the same time, COVID-19 is expected to reverse a decade of progress in social and economic gains, with long-term consequences for equity and growth, and growing pressures on social protection systems. A new ODI study, in collaboration with GiZ, examines social protection adjustments since the onset of the crisis, their crisis response effectiveness and implications for longer-term social protection systems building efforts. It identifies emerging policy lessons for social protection and preparedness for future crises.  

A year on from the first announcements of lockdown measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, this event brought together leading experts and policymakers to discuss the findings emerging from the ODI-GiZ study and wider evidence to share policy learning to date. It also asked: is the crisis a turning point in social protection? On the basis of policy developments and evidence to date, is the pandemic opening the door for a reappraisal of investment in social protection, as suggested by some? If so, what are the policy priorities for governments and partners moving forward to help ensure the strengthening of adaptive social protection systems?



Francesca Bastagli, Director, Equity and Social Policy, ODI 



Bessie Msusa, Chief Economist in the Poverty Reduction and Social Protection Division at the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Malawi

Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant of the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Pakistan

Lynette Maart, National Director, Black Sash, South Africa

Ugo Gentilini, Global Lead Social Assistance, World Bank 

Armando Barrientos, Professor of Poverty and Social Justice at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester



Ralf Radermacher, Head of Programme, Global Alliances for Social Protection, at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH



Social protection response to COVID-19 and beyond: lessons learned for adaptive social protection