Inclusive Growth Bulletin - Issue 96 - June 2020
© Mostafa Meraj on Unsplash
This month, we present two new One Pagers on social protection systems in South Asia, produced in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA); updates on Centre’s projects; news on our special webinar series for social protection in South Asia; and the IPC-IG’s Twitter threads on social protection responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in several countries. Welcome to the June edition of our Inclusive Growth Bulletin!
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The One Pager “Overview of social protection systems in South Asia”, by Fabianna Ferreira, Pedro Arruda, Yannick Markhof and Isabela Franciscon (IPC-IG), analyses social protection programmes led by governments of the eight countries of South Asia and offers recommendations. It is also available in French and Portuguese. This publication is part of the outputs resulting from a partnership between the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA).
Child-sensitive social protection in South Asia—assessing programmes’ design features and coverage of children”, a One Pager by Charlotte Bilo (IPC-IG), provides an overview of social protection systems and an assessment of the child-sensitivity programmes in South Asian countries, offering five recommendations for improvement. This publication is also available in French and Portuguese.
The One Pager “Simulating the impact on labour earnings and per capita household income of a Brazilian government programme to protect jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic”, by Joana Costa and Mauricio Cortez Reis Alves (Institute for Applied Economic Research—Ipea), provides an overview of the outcomes of the Brazilian Emergency Income and Jobs Maintenance Programme. The full study referenced in this One Pager simulates counterfactual household incomes to assess the impact of the initiatives. The paper is also available in Portuguese.
Second webinar of a series on social protection in South Asia reflects on how to strengthen social contracts in the region in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis 
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On 25 June, the IPC-IG, together with the UNICEF’s Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) and Development Pathways, held a webinar titled “Strengthening social contracts in South Asia in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis: the adequacy of social protection responses in the short term and the future role of universal social protection”.

Discussions revolved around how countries in the region responded to the COVID-19 crisis, which revealed some of the shortcomings of social protection systems in the region, especially regarding informal workers who are not eligible for poverty alleviation programmes and are not covered by social insurance schemes.

This webinar counted on the expertise of Abdul Alim, UNICEF Regional Social Policy Advisor for South Asia; Fabio Veras, Research Coordinator at the IPC-IG; and Stephen Kidd, Senior Social Policy Specialist at Development Pathways. The moderator was Louise Moreira Daniels, Chief of Social Policy at UNICEF Sri Lanka. The recording of the webinar is available here.

This was the second webinar of the series titled “Social Protection in South Asia - the landscape before COVID-19, a snapshot into responses to the crisis and the paths ahead”, which comprises six sessions. It is also part of the webinar series of the task force “Social Protection responses to COVID-19”, a partnership between the IPC-IG, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Government of Australia (DFAT). Both series are hosted by the platform.
The IPC-IG has developed a new methodology regarding a study on the Seguro Defeso programme due to the COVID-19 crisis
The project “Impact Evaluation of Seguro Defeso on the Socioeconomic Conditions of Small-Scale Shrimp Fishers in Brazil”, a partnership between the IPC-IG and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has had to undergo adaptations in its methodology, since field trips have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The impact evaluation will now be based on pre-existing data, gathered from the Unemployment Insurance Management Database (Base de Gestão do Seguro-Desemprego)—which includes data on requisitions and payments of the Seguro Defeso programme—and from the Single Registry of Social Programmes (Cadastro Único)—which gathers the social and economic characteristics of low-income households in Brazil.

In addition to the data evaluation, the research team is also producing the first report to define the background of the analysis, reviewing the literature and legal frameworks, study design and preliminary data assessment.
Ongoing study by the IPC-IG and the Brazilian Superior Labour Court will promote a better understanding on the formative dimensions of judicial schools
Since February 2020, the IPC-IG, in a joint cooperation project between the UNDP Brazil and the Brazilian National School for the Formation and Improvement of Labour Magistrates (Escola Nacional de Formação e Aperfeiçoamento de Magistrados do Trabalho—ENAMAT) of the Superior Labour Court (Tribunal Superior do Trabalho—TST), has been analysing, for the project’s national component, the formative dimensions of learning assessments from a sample of five judicial schools in Brazil, located in the states of Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Amazonas/Roraima, Piauí and Distrito Federal/Tocantins. The Centre’s research team is now defining the type of classification according to which they will frame the courses taken by the magistrates of the Regional Labour Courts (Tribunais Regionais do Trabalho—TRT). For now, they are still in the exploratory phase.

The study also includes a comparative analysis of the labour law systems of five other countries: Argentina, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and South Korea. These countries were selected based on their socio-economic characteristics, demographic dimensions, state organisation and labour law criteria. The five case studies are being produced, and the Centre has had the support of volunteers from the United Nations Volunteers programme. By the end of July, the team expects to deliver a more consolidated report on the comparative analysis, which intends to provide a better understanding of how labour lawsuits are processed and judged by the judicial system in different contexts.
The IPC-IG and UNICEF Iran provide technical assistance to the Iranian government
Since May 2020, the IPC-IG and the UNICEF Iran have been providing technical assistance to government representatives of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare (MCLSW) of the Islamic Republic of Iran. On 2 June, researcher Luis Henrique de Paiva (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada—Ipea) delivered a presentation covering some aspects of the “Management and responsibilities of different actors of the Bolsa Família programme”, in which he described the governance structure of the programme, introducing the federative context of the country, the  interfederal coordination tools, how the programme is structured by the federal government, states and municipalities, and the specific roles of these different entities.

On 23 June, researcher Letícia Bartholo (Ipea, IPC-IG) delivered a presentation explaining the Cadastro Único (Single Registry); the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of both Bolsa Família and Cadastro Único; and how cash transfers are being used in Brazil in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Webinar series on social protection in South Asia presents its third session on social expenditure and legislative frameworks in the region
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What is the current public social expenditure in South Asian countries? How does it compare with other regions? To what extent do social protection programmes in the region contribute to the economic growth and improvement of human development indicators, especially regarding children? These are some of the questions that will be discussed in the webinar titled “Social expenditure, legislative frameworks and findings of impact evaluations of social protection in South Asia”, which will be hosted on 23 July at the platform.

During the webinar, the main findings of studies conducted by the Centre will be presented, including an analysis of legal frameworks for protecting and promoting children’s rights to social protection, in addition to an examination of how the different countries in the region internalise and comply with these frameworks. The debate also includes an analysis of countries’ constitutional provisions, statutory and sub-statutory laws, and a human rights-based analysis on the specific regulatory framework of more than 50 programmes. Moreover, the speakers will address the findings of rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental impact evaluations of the programmes.

This is the third session of the ongoing webinar series on “Social protection in South Asia—the landscape before COVID-19, a snapshot into responses to the crisis and the paths ahead". You can register and participate by clicking here.
The IPC-IG is producing constantly updated Twitter threads on social protection responses to COVID-19
© Laurene Gicquel on Unsplash
To keep up with the continuous developments of social protection responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries, the IPC-IG has been producing a number of Twitter threads, in which researchers map and select the most relevant aspects, news and figures for initiatives taken in response to the COVID-19 global crisis.

Since April, the Centre’s research team, coordinated by Senior Researcher Fabio Veras—with the assistance of different UNICEF regional country offices—has regularly been publishing threads with up-to-date information on responses from Brazil, Costa Rica (part 1, part 2 and part 3), Morocco (part 1 and part 2), Tunisia (part 1 and part 2), Sri Lanka and Jordan. A thread on the different social protection responses to the health crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean was also produced (English and Spanish). Soon, other countries will also be on the spot. You can access all threads published so far by clicking here.
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