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Parallel session 3.3: The investment case for social protection

Considering ‘value for money’ and ‘cost benefit’

This session was hosted by UNICEF and World Food Programme (WFP).

Nupur Kukrety, Policy Specialist, Social Protection in Humanitarian and Fragile Contexts, UNICEF, moderated the discussion amongst the following panelists:

  • Dr Nicolas Bidault, Chief of the Social Protection Unit, World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Petrona Davies, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Development, Virgin Islands
  • Bessie Msusa, Chief Economist, Poverty Reduction and Social Protection Division, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Malawi
  • Paul Quarles van Ufford, Regional Advisor, West and Central Africa, Social Policy, UNICEF

There is overwhelming evidence of the benefits of investing in routine social protection. However, in the context of shocks and crises, this session considered whether social protection mechanisms are the most appropriate instruments for building resilience and responding in a timely manner and effectively at scale. How can social protection programmes contribute to addressing underlying vulnerabilities and the management of disaster risk across the risk cycle (i.e., from prevention to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery)? What factors enable social protection programmes and systems to address disaster risk more effectively or efficiently than alternatives? What have been the factors/investment cases that have enabled governments to strengthen (adaptive) social protection systems? What are the financing mechanisms used by governments to invest in social protection system building, including its preparedness and leveraging/complementing it for response and resilience building? This session applied a ‘value for money’ and ‘return on investment’ lens to explore these questions. Based on a review of the evidence and experience emerging over recent years, participants discussed specific country experiences, initiatives and efforts.

© GIZ/Steffen Kugler
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