From Evidence to Action: The Story of Cash Transfers and Impact Evaluation in Sub Saharan Africa describes efforts to expand the evidence base on unconditional cash transfers in eight countries across the region: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Cash transfers have led to a broad range of social and productive impacts improving families lives. Documented results have been collected through the experience of the Transfer Project, a joint effort of UNICEF, FAO, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Save the Children UK, and national governments and research institutions in each country. The strong collaboration among development partners has led to the improved knowledge and practice on social cash transfers in Africa.
On Tuesday, November 15, the Mail & Guardian’s Critical Thinking Forum will host Social Cash Transfers: Changing Lives of African families? The event will bring together government representatives, UN agencies and researchers to provide insight into what’s working with national social protection programmes across the region.
Time: 9.00am – 1.00pm (GMT+2)
Venue: The Capital 20 West, 20 West Road, Morningside, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
Watch the Forum live.
Photo credit: ©FAO/Ivan Grifi.
On 31 October and 1 November, UNDP and ECLAC, along with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), will host the Eighth Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, in Santo Domingo, the Dominican republic.
The Forum is a platform for ministers and other policy makers to discuss experiences in social development and social protection, challenges and opportunities presented by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and how policies should be transformed to respond to human well-being challenges in the region.
At the same time, ECLAC, UNDP and the Government of the Dominican Republic are hosting the First Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean in Santo Domingo. The Meeting’s overall goal is to improve social development policy and technical expertise in the region by promoting cooperation between national governments.
To learn more about social protection, policy and well-being in the region, read Caribbean Multidimensional progress: well-being beyond income, the Regional Human Development Report for Latin America.
Photo credit: “2015 – MEXICO – Zinacantán – Sun Shade” by Ted McGrath (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
On Monday, 17 October UNRISD will launch its 2016 Flagship Report, Policy Innovations for Transformative Change.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals are a global commitment to “transforming our world” and eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere. The challenge now is to put this vision into action. How can this be achieved?
At this event, Walking the Talk: Transformative Pathways for Achieving the SDGs, panellists will provide some answers to this question, by exploring how innovative policies that integrate social, environmental and economic aspects can lead to inclusive societies that leave no one behind.
- Valentin Zellweger, Swiss Ambassador to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
- Katja Hujo, Senior Research Coordinator and Flagship Report coordinator, UNRISD
- Isabel Ortiz, Director of the Social Protection Department, International Labour Organization
- Constanza Martinez, Senior Advisor and UN Representative, World Vision International
Paul Ladd, UNRISD Director
With the participation of
- Michael Møller, Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva
- Dr. David Nabarro, UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the 2030 Agenda (video message)
On 20-21 September, ESCWA launched the its Inter-Sessional Expert Group on Disability. Policy makers from countries across the region, including Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania and Yemen attended.
Read more about the event and the Expert Group on ESCWA’s website.
Photo credit: “Ashtar is the best days of the week!, Arwa, Reeda, Amer. Ramallah, Palestine.” by Erik Törner (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
On Thursday, 6 October, at 6.00 (EST) FAO and socialprotection.org are hosting a webinar, Gender-Sensitive Social Protection Design: What works in Asia?
- Anna Minj, Director, BRAC
- Rebecca Holmes, Research Fellow, Social Protection Programme, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Deepta Chopra, Research Fellow, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Maja Gavrilovic, Social Policy Analyst, FAO,
Register for the webinar here.
Photo credit: “160723zim124_28876119973_o” by Trocaire (CCBY2.0 via Flickr).
From 28-30 September, the Government of Mexico will hold a seminar, La Contribucion de los Programas de Transferencias Condicionadas a la Construccion de un Sistema de Proteccion Social con un Enfoque de Decheros (Contribution of Conditional Cash Transfers to the Design of Social Protection Systems with a Focus on Human Rights).
Over 350 government officials from around the world will participate. For more information, please visit the event website.
Photo credit: “2014 – Copper Canyon – Creel – Mushroom Park Weaver – 2 of 3” by Ted McGrath (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr)
The ILO is hosting a Conference on Universal Social Protection in both Beijing and New York.
The Beijing event took place from 6-8 September. Hosted by the ILO, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the conference covered topics including social protection for children and maternity protection, social protection for persons with disabilities, and anchoring social protection in law, highlighting the methodologies, tools and specific approaches developed by ILO as part of its Flagship Programme on Building Social Protection for All.
To learn more about all the topics covered in Beijing, visit the event page.
On 21 September, ILO and the World Bank, along with other development organizations, will meet for the Conference’s second event. The meeting will take place during the 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York, where the Global Partnership for Social Protection will be unveiled. Government leaders, diplomats and social protection experts will present evidence from countries that have achieved universal social protection.
The 21 September event will be streamed online. Visit the event page to learn more.
Follow conference news on Twitter using the hashtahg #socialprotection.
Photo credit: “Chuyện của Aytek | Aytek’s story (2)” by UNICEF Viet Nam (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
The 33rd session of the Human Rights Council begins on 13 September. The Human Rights Council is made up of 47 member states elected by the UN General Assembly. The Council responsible for making recommendations on and strengthening human rights .
This session’s agenda includes promoting and protecting all human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights.
The Council will consider the report of Léo Heller, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. To learn more about social protection and sanitation, watch “Just building toilets is not enough”: The need for an integrated approach to WASH and Human Rights.
Visit the Human Rights Council page to learn more.
Photo credit: “Smiling girl” by Brad Ruggles (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
On 8 September, the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and HelpAge International will host a webinar, Fiscal Space for Social Protection: Harmonization of Contributory
and Non-Contributory Programmes. This event is the second in the Fiscal Space for Social Protection: Knowledge Sharing Initiative webinar series. Stephen Kidd, Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways and Rebecca Holmes, Acting Head of Programme at the Overseas Development Institute will discuss:
- gaps in social protection in older age,
- contributory and non-contributory programmes, and
- extending social security to the informal economy.
The webinar will take place from 9am – 10am UTC -4.
Photo credit: “山腳下的老人/Old man” by Liang Wen (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
From 1-5 August, the Asian Development Bank will host Asia-Pacific Social Protection Week (APSP) in Manila, the Philippines.
Experts will discuss the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to social protection, issues around social protection in the Global South and experiences from countries with more advanced social protection systems.
Sessions will include:
- Social Protection in the Global Development Agenda
- Economic Crisis and Creating Fiscal Space for Social Protection
- The Rise of CCTs in Asia – Challenges and Opportunities
- Social Protection for Informal Workers
- Innovation in Elderly Care and Social Care Service Delivery
- ICT for Social Protection – Enhancing Service Delivery
- Investing on Identity Management Systems for Beneficiary Targeting
- Social Protection, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation
Visit the APSP event page for more information.
Photo credit: “hawker” by hadi (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
On 2 August, from 15.00-16.30 (CEST/GMT +2), FAO will hold Shock-Responsive Social Protection for Resilience Building: Supporting Livelihoods in Protracted Crises, Fragile and Humanitarian Contexts, the fourth webinar in its Webinars on Resilience series.
The webinar will provide an overview of FAO’s work in protracted crises, fragile and humanitarian settings, and discuss the role of shock-responsive social protection systems, evidence-based knowledge available to date and research gaps.
Increased complexity of crises, protracted displacement, overstretched capacity and lack of resources have meant that humanitarian needs are growing. As a result, development and humanitarian forces have started to work together to identify and address them.
FAO’s research has found that scaling up social protection; including cash-based programmes, risk-informed and shock responsive systems; is essential to improving food security and nutrition, protect household assets, and increase income for those living in protracted crises, fragile and humanitarian situations.
In the short-term, access to adequate social protection benefits can protect households from the impact of shocks and minimize negative coping practices, such as selling off productive assets, decreasing intake of nutritious foods, over-exploitation of resources, child labour or forced early marriages. In the long-term, social protection can help build people’s resilience to future crises and other shocks.
FAO provides support in designing social protection programmes in crises, fragile and humanitarian settings where government provision of social services is weak. Ultimately, these programmes should be a starting point for governments to build national social protection systems that are responsive to shocks and provide efficient responses to emergencies.
To learn more about FAO’s work in crises, visit FAO and Emergencies.
Natalia Winder Rossi, Senior Social Protection Officer, Social Protection Team Leader and Delivery Manager, FAO
Julius Jackson, Protracted Crises Technical Officer, FAO (Moderator)
Download the concept note.
Register for the webinar here.
The Webinars on Resilience Series is part of Information for Nutrition, Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making (INFORMED), an FAO and EU Partnership project.
Photo credit: FAO/Marco Longari
The 21st International AIDS Conference (IAC) starts on 18 July in Durban. The Conference, which runs until 22 July, will bring together over 18,000 researchers, policy makers and civil society members to share world class knowledge, expertise and strategies on efficiently using existing resources, identifying new resource streams and deploying these resources to populations and locations with disproportionately high HIV burdens. The conference is co-organized by multiple stakeholders, including UNAIDS.
The theme for the 2016 IAC is Access, Equity and Rights.
Participants from different disciplines will share their perspectives on advancing the response to AIDS across a range of activities, including pre-conferences, daily plenaries, oral and poster sessions as well as community village activities. Some notable events include:
- From Commitments to Actions: Implication of the 2016 UN high Level Meeting on Ending AIDS
- Financing the Response to HIV: Show Us the Money
- Progress in HIV Vaccines and the Road to the Clinic
- Alcohol, Substance Use and HIV
- Barriers Must Fall: Community-Led Delivery
- Prepped for PrEP
For a complete list of sessions, visit http://www.aids2016.org/Programme.
East and Southern Africa account for 6.2 percent of the world’s population, but the regions are home to half of the 36.9 million people living with HIV. Women account for over half of adults living with HIV,
Although the region made significant progress in reducing new HIV infections between 2010 and 2015 (particularly among children), new HIV infection rates have remained high among adolescent girls and young women.
Certain groups are significantly more vulnerable to HIV infection. Gay men and other men who have sex with men are 24 times more likely to be infected than the general population, while sex workers are 10 times more likely. People who inject drugs are 24 times more likely to become infected. Prisoners are 5 times more likely to be living with HIV and transgender people are a staggering 49 times more likely. Rights-based social protection approaches can play a significant role in meeting the needs of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as preventing new infections.
Previous IACs have had a significant impact in reaching people living with, at risk and most affected by HIV to provide life-saving services. The Yokohama (1994), Vancouver (1996) and Geneva (1998) Conferences, for example, brought attention to inequitable access to HIV treatment between the North and South.
To learn more, read David Chipanta’s expert commentary, Investment, Commitment and Innovation: Fast-Tracking Social Protection to End AIDS.
Photo credit: “heart” by Adrian Wiggins (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
On 19 and 20 July, ESCWA is hosting a Workshop on Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes in the Arab Region.
The workshop is an opportunity for experts to discuss the potential of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) in the Arab region. The event’s objectives are to:
- share a range of experiences in designing and implementing CCT schemes;
- discuss the role that CCTs can play in providing rights-based social protection in the Arab region; and
- identify challenges and opportunities for policy makers in the region in administering CCT programmes.
Following the workshop, ESCWA will publish a report on CCT schemes in Arab countries.
The MENA region has relatively low social protection coverage, especially among the most vulnerable groups — including those living in rural areas and people in informal urban settlements. Of those who work, only about one-third have access to social insurance. Informal and agricultural workers are particularly vulnerable to shocks.
Governments in the region are restructuring currently existing food and fuel subsidies to reach those most in need of social services. To this end, ESCWA, as well as ILO, FAO and UNICEF are hosting a series of regional events to help researchers, policy makers and practitioners from the region as they develop new social protection schemes drawing on the experiences of experts from around the world.
Both unconditional and conditional cash transfers have gained increasing exposure worldwide over the past few decades. In Latin America, where programmes such as Brazil’s Bolsa Familia and Mexico’s Prospera (formerly Oportunidades) have had notable achievements in reducing poverty, increasing rates of school attendance and improved health among programme beneficiaries.
Sub-Saharan African countries have also conducted schemes in countries such as GiveDirectly, a UCT programme in Rarieda, a rural district in Kenya, with significant improvements in household assets, food security and income. UCTs have also been implemented in emergency situations.
For more information on conditional cash transfers, read UN Women and UNICEF’s joint report, Conditional Cash Transfers: Learning from the literature.
See also Superfluous, Pernicious, Atrocious and Abominable? The Case Against Conditional Cash Transfers by Nicholas Freeland.
For more information on the event, please contact Gisela Nauk.
Photo credit: Woman from Chenini by Pietro Izzo (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
The High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development starts today. The theme for 2016 is Ensuring that No One Gets Left Behind.
The HLPF is the United Nation’s platform to review the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, and will provide leadership, guidance and recommendations on implementing and monitoring progress on the SDGs.
The HLPF is “the most inclusive and participatory forum at the United Nations, bringing all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies together”. High-level representatives from UNRISD, ILO, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA, OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS and UNICEF will attend.
In addition to international organizations, other stakeholders will participate in the Forum. One group of stakeholders, officially known as “Major Groups”, was identified at the 1992 Earth Summit. Major Groups are comprised of the following nine sectors of society whose participation is considered crucial to achieving sustainable development:
- Children and Youth
- Indigenous Peoples
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Local Authorities
- Workers and Trade Unions
- Business and Industry
- Scientific and Technological Community
Other stakeholders identified by governments to participate in sustainable development include “local communities, volunteer groups and foundations, migrants and families, as well as older persons and persons with disabilities”.
Among the sessions included in the Forum’s official agenda are Where do we stand at year one?, Ensuring that no one is left behind: Envisioning an inclusive world in 2030 and Ensuring that no one is left behind – Lifting people out of poverty and addressing basic needs.
Other events include side events such as SDG 6 and the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and Financing the SDGs in the Least Developed Countries: Diversifying the Financing Tool-box and Managing Vulnerability.
On Monday, 18 July, UNRISD is hosting Walking the Talk: Transformative Pathways for Achieving the SDGs, an official side event of Forum. UNRISD Director Paul Ladd will present a preview the Institute’s 2016 flagship report, Policy Innovations for Transformative Change, which will be released in October.
The side event is officially sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Sweden.
UN Women has issued a call for papers on how human mobility and the distancing of family members across places and borders shape gender and generational dynamics within families, for its flagship report, Progress of the World’s Women (Progress). The deadline for receiving proposals is 8 August, 5 p.m. EDT (UTC–4).
The next edition of Progress, themed Families in a Changing World, will look at how laws, policies and public action can support families in ways that enable women’s rights to resources, bodily integrity and voice. To understand how gender and generational relations within families are (re)defined and (re)negotiated in response to broader economic, social and political shifts, the report will include a chapter on families in the context of migration and mobility, including refugee flows and asylum-seekers.
UN Women is seeking regionally diverse, empirically grounded and innovative research on human mobility, gender and family relations to inform this chapter. The selected papers will identify public policies and other kinds of interventions that enable or constrain women’s enjoyment of their human rights, among those who migrate and those who stay behind.
The research papers should be 8,000–10,000 words in length and address one or more of the following thematic issues, as they relate to human mobility, gender and family relations: immigration policies and gendered family life; women’s economic power and socioeconomic rights; care relationships; social norms, stigma and gender stereotypes; violence against women; and agency and compulsion.
UN Women welcomes papers based on original research, particularly those with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Asia and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Selected authors will be invited to present their research at a conference in New York in December 2016.
Researchers interested in submitting a proposal should send an abstract of no more than 500 words, indicating which theme(s) they will address, and a one-page Curriculum Vitae to progress[at]unwomen.org by 8 August, 5 p.m., EDT (UTC–4). Submissions will be accepted in English, French and Spanish.
For more information, please download the call for papers.
Photo credit: “Women Work on Computers” by ILO Arab States (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
As the world moves forward towards implementing and localizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it is critical to remember that gender equality is an essential factor in the ability of a country to attain sustainable development and that women’s empowerment is a core element in attaining gender equality.
Over half of households living in poverty – as working poor, indigent or otherwise – are headed by women. Children comprise the majority of the poor in the Caribbean. Poor households headed by women tend to be larger than those headed by men; and these households, where there are only women and children, tend to have much higher rates of unemployment. Yet, these households tend to be seen as more “resilient” in the face of worsening economic or natural crisis. This resiliency is often confused with a “burden of necessity” which women hold, faced with limited mobility options in light of the larger, extended family for which they are often solely responsible.
Extending social protection, and establishing gender- and child-responsive social protection schemes that ensures universal access to health care including maternity care and basic income security, will protect women and their families from the effects of economic shocks and crises that may result in job and wage losses and an increase in precarious work.
The conditions under which women work in the Caribbean is a cause for concern. Inconsistent minimum wages and income earning gaps, particularly in the private sector, adversely affect women. Legislative gaps in equal pay for equal work, sexual harassment and minimum wage undermines women’s rights at work and decent work principles.
Guaranteeing women’s right to decent work is a necessity, not just for women’s rights but for the sustainability of national economic growth and recovery.
UN Women’s Multi-Country Office Caribbean and UNICEF’s Eastern Caribbean Office work together through the UN Joint Programme on Social Protection. The Programme works in the Eastern Caribbean on policy and legal reform processes, strengthening national capacities to establish transparent, evidence-based and targeted social safety net services to poor populations, while ensuring child and gender sensitivity.
Under this thematic area, women’s economic empowerment, UN Women Caribbean and UNICEF have produced a series of nine publications including research reports, technical papers and policy briefs in support of the Programme. We must Step it Up for Gender Equality – Agenda 50/50 by 2030.
UNRISD is holding an event on the graduation approach to social protection as part of its Seminar Series on Monday, 27 June. The event, Building Livelihoods & Promoting Rights? The Graduation Approach to Social Protection, will bring together experts to discuss:
- whether or not graduation is compatible with a human rights-based approach to social protection;
- different contexts in which it is applicable, such as climate-change adapted contexts; and
- how it can be adapted to meet the needs of different groups, such as refugees and other displaced persons.
Venue: Room VIII, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Photo credit: “TV Family” by ☰☵ Michele M. F. (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr)
ECLAC and GIZ will hold a two-day technical workshop on 20 and 21 June.
In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that Latin American and Caribbean countries need stronger legal and regulatory frameworks to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and sustainability of rights-based social protection systems.
The event, Avances y desafíos de la institucionalidad social en América Latina y el Caribe: caminos hacia una protección social universal bajo el enfoque de derechos, will bring together experts to:
- Analyse the current situation of social services in the region from several different perspectives;
- Discuss challenges in designing universal social protection systems that effectively facilitate access to economic, social and cultural rights; and
- Discuss the best methods to to adequately coordinate:
- social policies and care policies,
- contributory and non-contributory social protection schemes,
- policies and programmes for specific population groups and
- general public policy objectives.
This event will be live streamed.
For more information, visit the event page (in Spanish).
Photo credit: “hola” by Alé (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
On 22 June, ECLAC and the Chilean Ministry of Social Development will hold Optimizando la respuesta en emergencias desde lo social, a full-day seminar on social protection in emergency situations. The event will consist of two expert panels, as well as a discussion session with government representatives from Chile and other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Discussion topics will include:
- Successes and challenges in creating social protection systems for disaster situations;
- An analysis of the existing mechanisms used by ministries in responding to emergency situations;
- Developing adequate data collection methods to assess the needs of individuals, families and communities in terms of risk reduction and emergency response management; and
- Determining the support required to increase the affected populations’ resilience against disaster shocks.
The event will be live streamed.
For more information, visit the event page (in Spanish).
Photo credit: “IMG_8855” by AIDG (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
The Institute of Development Studies’ Centre for Social Protection (CSP) is holding a short course from 27 – 30 June. The course, entitled Social Protection: policies, programmes and evidence is designed to provide development researchers, policy makers and practitioners with a broad knowledge of approaches to social protection and an understanding of challenges in designing, implementing and monitoring social protection systems.
The course has three main themes:
- Building a knowledge base of social protection;
- Designing and implementing social protection programmes; and
- Evidence of what works in social protection;
More detailed information is available on the course page.