Evidence for Social Protection Policy: Introducing the Social Protection Initiative

Around the world, social protection programs such as cash or in-kind transfers and social insurance are gaining momentum to help fight poverty and reduce inequality in low- or low-income economies. intermediate. As these programs continue to expand, it is essential that governments put in place robust systems that can both fight long-term poverty and help vulnerable households adapt to economic, health, climatic or otherwise. To stimulate a new set of rigorous social protection impact evaluations, J-PAL and Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) recently established the Social Protection Initiative (SPI) to fund policy-relevant research on social protection programs. social protection in low- and middle-income countries. countries. In this webinar, speakers will discuss the value of rigorous research on innovations in social protection, highlight areas for future research, and present the opportunities and constraints faced by policy makers implementing protection programs. on the ground. Register for the webinar here. Social protection refers to policies and programs that provide financial support to low-income families, insure against shocks and break poverty traps. In recent decades, these programs, such as cash transfers, workfare programs that require recipients to participate in work or vocational training, and social insurance programs such as unemployment benefits, have been become widespread tools for reducing poverty and inequality. Low- and middle-income countries have become an important part of this story as they increasingly embrace social protection schemes. Designing programs for these contexts, however, involves challenges that differ from those encountered in high-income economies. Although there have been recent advances in research on social protection in low- and middle-income countries, stronger and more rigorous research on the most effective forms of program design and implementation is needed. to answer key policy questions. In response to this need, J-PAL and EPoD will promote the generation of rigorous evidence on social protection through the new Social Protection Initiative (SPI). This webinar will feature insights from social protection academic and policy experts on the importance of rigorous social protection research, areas for future research and SPI goals, as well as a panel discussion with policy makers who will share their experiences of implementing social protection. field programs. SpeakersKurfi Abubakar Muhammad, Head Policy, Planning and International Collaboration Division, National Health Insurance Scheme (Nigeria)Rema Hanna, Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Harvard Kennedy SchoolLisa Hannigan, Senior Social Protection Specialist / Director, Australian Government Department of Foreign Business and CommerceBenjamin Olken, Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor of Microeconomics, MIT

Joel C. Hicks