UNAIDS is Having a Virtual Consultation until 10 February

January 30, 2017

UNAIDS is Having a Virtual Consultation until 10 February

UNAIDS is holding a virtual consultation on the future of the UNAIDS model from 30 January until 10 February 2017.


The world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. This target sits within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The General Assembly has also committed to Fast-Track the AIDS response over the next five years, in line with the 2016–2021 Strategy of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

In partnership with a range of stakeholders, including people living with HIV, UNAIDS plays a key role in the global effort to deliver on these ambitions.  An integral part of the AIDS response, the Joint Programme is widely recognized for setting the vision and global agenda, providing leadership to achieve this agenda at country level, engaging in evidence-informed advocacy, delivering normative guidance and technical expertise, monitoring the epidemic and response, and promoting human rights and meaningful engagement of civil society.

Learn more and participate in the Global Consultation:


Photo credit: “District Consultation” by Challenge Program on Water and Food (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).


ILO Releases Social Protection Volumes

January 19, 2017

ILO Releases Social Protection Volumes

The ILO’s Social Protection Department recently released three volumes of Social Protection Floors. The reports “present best practices and experiences from countries that are useful for South-South learning, for practitioners and to provide the basis for more informed policy-making”.

Volume 1, Universal Schemes, draws on experiences from countries including Argentina, Lesotho and Thailand. Volume 2,  Innovations to Extend Coverage looks at social protection for migrants, social protection in the context of climate change, and rural employment. Volume 3, Governance and Financing, examines mechanisms to build social protection floors in countries including China, Colombia and Zambia.

Learn more about the Social Protection Department.


Photo credit: “Children” by Moin Uddin (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).



IDS Short Course on Social Protection

January 6, 2017

IDS Short Course on Social Protection

The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) is holding a short course on social protection from 12-15 June, 2017. The four-day course is aimed at policy makers, practitioners, researchers and project managers who are already or will be working in of social protection.

The course will provide participants with:

  • a broad knowledge of approaches to social protection,
  • an understanding of challenges in design and implementation of social protection programming, and
  • the ability to critically assess current evidence base on social protection.

Learn more by visiting the course page. The deadline for applicants is 10 February 2017.


Photo credit: “Engaged in learning” by CSUF Photos (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).


New ILO Study Reveals that 50 Million Jobs are Needed to Address Global Health

December 20, 2016

New ILO Study Reveals that 50 Million Jobs are Needed to Address Global Health

An estimated 50 million decent jobs are missing in 2016 to address essential global health requirements through universal health coverage (UHC) and ensure human security, particularly with respect to highly infectious diseases like Ebola. Demographic ageing over the next 15 years is expected to further increase employment needs in the global health supply chain by 84 million jobs.

Read more.

Photo credit: A. González Farran / UNAMID (via ILO).

It’s World AIDS Day

December 1, 2016

It’s World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. This year’s theme is Hands up for #HIVPrevention.

On 30 November, UNAIDS held a special event, Moving Forward Together: Leaving No One Behind, in New York to mark the occasion.

The event honoured United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s legacy and commitment to leaving no one behind in the global response to HIV.

Watch or read UNAIDS Secretary-General Michel Sidibé’s message for World AIDS Day and find out more about the 2016 campaign here.

To learn about HIV and social protection, read David Chipanta’s expert commentary, Investment, Commitment and Innovation: Fast-Tracking Social Protection to End AIDS.


Photo credit: UNAIDS (via Instagram).

UNAIDS Just Launched a New Report

November 23, 2016

UNAIDS Just Launched a New Report

On 21 November, UNAIDS launched its latest report, Get on the Fast-Track: the life-cycle approach to HIV,  in Windhoek, Namibia. According to the report, the number of people accessing life-saving medicines increased significantly in 2016, thanks to the Fast-Track approach. Between January and June, an additional one million people (including 910,000 children) were able to access treatment. The report notes the role that social protection plays in reducing HIV risk and improving treatment adherence.

Despite strides made in ending the AIDS epidemic, girls and women between the ages of 15-24 remain vulnerable to infection. According to UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, they face a triple threat: “They are at high risk of HIV infection, have low rates of HIV testing and have poor adherence to treatment. The world is failing young women and we urgently need to do more”.

Programming — including social protection policy — to end AIDS requires the entire life cycle to be taken into account. Improved prevention methods for adolescents and adults, access to medicines that prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus, testing for pregnant women and babies, and addressing long-term side effects of HIV treatment in older people should all be taken into account by policy makers and practitioners to reach SDG Target 3.3, ending AIDS by 2030.

Download UNAIDS’ Fact Sheet.

Read David Chipanta’s expert commentary, Investment, Commitment and Innovation: Fast-Tracking Social Protection to End AIDS, to learn more.


Photo credit: “mom and son” by  SIM Central and South East Asia (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).


The United Nations is Holding a Forum on Youth and Human Rights

November 16, 2016

The United Nations is Holding a Forum on Youth and Human Rights

In 2015, the Human Rights Council established a Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. The Forum’s purpose is to “provide a platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to the relationship between these areas” and to “identify and analyze best practices, challenges and opportunities for States in their efforts to secure respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.

The inaugural Forum will take place on 21 – 22 November. The theme is Widening the Democratic Space: the role of youth in public decision-making.

Panel discussions will be held on:

  • Creating an enabling environment for the effective participation of youth in public decision-making;
  • From formal to transformative participation of youth;
  • Youth participation in sustainable development and human rights protection; and
  • The role of youth in shaping international and regional development agendas.

Special attention will be paid to discrimination that impedes young women and girls’ participation in public decision making, indigenous and minority youth, youth in rural areas, migrant, stateless, internally displaced, asylum seeking and refugee youth, and youth with disabilities.

Download the agenda.

To learn more about youth and social protection, visit our Key Issues page and also visit Not Too Young to Run, a campaign to lower the legal age of candidacy for public office and increase young people’s decision-making power.



Photo credit: “McGill student vote mob 2011” by Adam Scotti (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).

UNICEF and FAO Have a New Book Out on Cash Transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa

November 14, 2016

UNICEF and FAO Have a New Book Out on Cash Transfers in Sub-Saharan Africa

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.

Launch Event

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.

ECLAC & UNDP are Hosting a Social Development Event in Santo Domingo

October 21, 2016

ECLAC & UNDP are Hosting a Social Development Event in Santo Domingo

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.

Watch the broadcast live.

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).

Walking the Talk: Transformative Pathways for Achieving the SDGs— UNRISD Flagship Report Launch

October 12, 2016

Walking the Talk: Transformative Pathways for Achieving the SDGs— UNRISD Flagship Report Launch

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)

Register for the event.

ESCWA launched an Expert Group on Disability

October 4, 2016

ESCWA launched an Expert Group on Disability

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).

FAO and are Hosting a Webinar

September 30, 2016

FAO and are Hosting a Webinar

On Thursday, 6 October, at 6.00 (EST) FAO and 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).

Mexico is Hosting an International Meeting on Social Protection

September 26, 2016

Mexico is Hosting an International Meeting on Social Protection

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)

One Conference, Two Events: Universal Social Protection

September 15, 2016

One Conference, Two Events: Universal Social Protection

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 Starts on 13 September

September 12, 2016

The 33rd Session of the Human Rights Council Starts on 13 September

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.

This session will also promote issues such as the rights of indigenous peoples, migrants, older persons and youth.

Visit the Human Rights Council page to learn more.


Photo credit: “Smiling girl” by Brad Ruggles (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr). is Hosting a Webinar

September 7, 2016 is Hosting a Webinar

 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.

Register here.

Photo credit: “山腳下的老人/Old man” by Liang Wen (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).

It’s Asia-Pacific Social Protection Week

July 28, 2016

It’s Asia-Pacific Social Protection Week

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).

FAO is Having a Webinar on Social Protection and Fragile Contexts

July 27, 2016

FAO is Having a Webinar on Social Protection and Fragile Contexts

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

Access, Equity, Rights, Now – UNAIDS Co-Hosts Durban Conference

July 15, 2016

Access, Equity, Rights, Now – UNAIDS Co-Hosts Durban Conference

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:

For a complete list of sessions, visit


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).

ESCWA is Hosting an Event on Conditional Cash Transfers

July 14, 2016

ESCWA is Hosting an Event on Conditional Cash Transfers

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).