Inclusive Growth Bulletin - Issue 99 - September 2020
©Sharon Christina Rorvik on Unsplash

Welcome to the September edition of our Inclusive Growth Bulletin! In this month’s issue, we present a new publication series on social protection in South Asia, including responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also offer information on the registration process for the global e-conference “Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What´s next for Social Protection?”. The IPC-IG, together with GIZ and, has just launched a new self-paced micro-course on social protection programmes and a workshop for the implementation of an integrated registry in Burundi was also held this month. Enjoy your reading!

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The Research Report “Overview of non-contributory social protection programmes in South Asia from a child and equity perspective, by Pedro Arruda, Yannick Markhof, Isabela Franciscon, Wesley Silva and Charlotte Bilo (IPC-IG), presents an assessment of from a child and equity perspective of 51 non-contributory social protection programmes led by central governments in the eight countries of  South Asia. The sample manages to capture the flagship initiatives of national systems, analysing their core design features, as well as budgetary and coverage figures. An Executive Summary is also available.


Investing in the social sector to ensure access to basic health care, education and social safety is extremely important to reduce poverty and improve overall well-being. In the Research ReportSocial spending in South Asia—an overview of government expenditure on health, education and social assistance, Carolina Bloch (IPC-IG) presents an overview of how governments in South Asia spend their resources on the social sector, discussing the main trends, challenges and opportunities and providing some guidance on how public social expenditure can be improved in the region. A companion Executive Summary is available in English and Portuguese. An One Pager can also be found in English, French and Portuguese.


Prior to COVID-19, a significant proportion of Afghanistan’s population was not covered by social protection. In the One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Afghanistan, Beatriz Burattini (IPC-IG) analyses the measures taken by the government to mitigate the impact of the crisis, providing recommendations to increase social protection coverage. 

Bangladesh is one of the countries with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Asia. The One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Bangladesh, by Fabianna Bacil and Gabriel Soyer (IPC-IG), outlines the Social Protection measures enacted in the country to address the impacts of the pandemic, which is expected to push an additional 8 million people into poverty.

Bhutan is the country with the lowest number confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Asia as a proportion of the population, but the high percentage of workers in the informal sector are suffering the consequences of the pandemic. The One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Bhutan, by Krista Joosep Alvarenga and Fábio Veras Soares, assesses the country's social protection situation and offers recommendations. 

To respond to the COVID-19 crisis, India has implemented new social protection interventions and adapted existing benefits. In the One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: India, Fabianna Bacil and Gabriel Soye (IPC-IG) offer a closer look into South Asia's most affected country,  presenting recommendations to ensure universal social protection coverage. 


Maldives relies heavily on the tourism sector and the consequences of COVID-19 may lead the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to contract by 13 per cent in 2020—the worst forecast in South Asia. The One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Maldives, by Krista Joosep Alvarenga (IPC-IG), analyses the country’s social protection responses to the pandemic. 


The International Labour Organization estimates that almost all informal workers in Nepal (over 94 per cent of the working population) will suffer significant income losses due to COVID-19. In the One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Nepal, Isabela Franciscon and Pedro Arruda (IPC-IG) analyse the country’s social assistance responses to the pandemic and offer recommendations. 


Due to COVID-19, extreme poverty could increase by as much as 1.47 percentage points in Pakistan and many of the people pushed into poverty would be from the informal sector. The One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Pakistan, by Yannick Markhof and Khurram Arif (IPC-IG), analyses the Pakistani social protection scenario and discusses the government’s efforts in response to the pandemic. 


One of the first countries in South Asia to deploy strong stringency measures, Sri Lanka has been largely successful at containing the pandemic’s epidemiological impacts so far, but that does not mean that the country is not suffering social and economic damage. In the One Pager COVID-19 and social protection in South Asia: Sri Lanka, Isabela Franciscon and Pedro Arruda (IPC-IG) look into the country’s social protection situation


Sign up to participate in the Global e-Conference “Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: what’s next for social protection?” 

Registrations are now open for's Global E-Conference 'Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: what's next for social protection?', which will take place on 5, 6 and 8 October 2020. Side events will also be held on 7 October. The aim of the e-conference is to provide an opportunity to evaluate, share experiences and learn about social protection responses to COVID-19, as well as discuss the future of social protection in a post-pandemic scenario. Sign up here!

On the event’s second day, there will be thematic clinics where experts will offer tailored advice on specific practical issues related to the design and implementation of social protection responses to COVID-19. You can send your questions in advance by clicking on this link, choosing the clinic to which you want to send questions, and clicking on the link "Q&A – Question Submissions". Don’t forget to also register for each clinic you want to participate in, by accessing it through the event’s programme. Please note that each clinic will take place at two different times during the day to allow for global participation. Read more.


The IPC-IG provides a workshop for the implementation of an integrated registry in Burundi

Anais Vibranovski (IPC-IG) presenting during the workshop.

From 8 to 11 September, IPC-IG researchers and speakers from Kenya, Morocco, Brazil, Djibouti and Senegal facilitated a training workshop with the Government of Burundi on integrated management information systems of social protection programmes to support a feasibility study and a roadmap for the implementation of an integrated registry in Burundi. The workshop was co-facilitated by the Sécretariat Exécutif Permanent de la Commission Nationale de Protection Sociale (SEP/CNPS), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Burundi.

The event aimed to improve the understanding of government representatives and key stakeholders regarding the development of integrated registries by discussing conceptual aspects and countries’ experiences and collecting participants’ contributions to help inform the next steps towards the design and implementation of an integrated registry in Burundi. Read more.

The IPC-IG, GIZ and launch a new online micro-course

Social Protection Programmes” is a self-paced micro-course that introduces the different types of social protection programmes and their main design features, which has just been launched by the IPC-IG, GIZ and The course also discusses how these programmes can be classified under the main instruments of social protection, namely social insurance, social assistance and labour market policies, including possible overlaps and grey zones. The lessons provide specific examples of social protection programmes in Brazil, India and Kenya. Enrol in the course by clicking here.

Since it is a self-paced course, participants can choose to start and finish the course at any time, progressing through its content and activities in their own time. It has a duration of three hours and you can receive an online certificate. Read more.


The IPC-IG is looking for an individual consultant who will collaborate with the development of research using quantitative and qualitative methodologies to analyse the formation dimension and learning evaluation of the regional magistrate schools in Brazil. Requirements and information on how to apply are available here.

The Centre is also looking for consultants that would be willing to participate in a secondary bid for selection processes. According to their background, qualified individuals will be selected for one or more research themes. Learn more about the Consultant Roster here.