What makes a social protection system?

Virtual panel discussion

Ort / Datum
Online, 09.09.2021


German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

The online event will raise the question how to bring a system’s approach to live:

  • What does it require to move from a set of social protection programmes to an overall social protection system? Why have some countries been successful and others are lagging behind?
  • Does a system’s approach always mean that programmes have to be interlinked and how is this feasible in resource and capacity constrained countries?
  • Which social protection programmes can and should be combined? Should they be of the same kind or of different kinds?
  • How can different programmes best be co-ordinated and harmonised with each other? Which governance framework is conducive?
  • How much and what kind of information do they have to exchange? Is data privacy a concern?
  • What are criteria of a systemic approach?


We will talk with four experts with different background. All have written one of the 43 chapters of the new “Handbook of Social Protection Systems”:

  • Chris de Neubourg, Social Policy Research Institute (Belgium) and TIAS School for Business and Society at Tilburg University (The Netherlands)
  • Veronika Wodsak, Social Protection Department, International Labour Organisation, Geneva
  • Benson Chisanga, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zambia
  • Garima Bhalla, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome


After that, we will inform on the contents of the new “Handbook of Social Protection Systems”. Its 43 chapters and 18 case studies from the Global South, written by 67 authors from all parts of the world, address academics, students and practitioners and provide them with a comprehensive and globally relevant overview of the instruments, actors and design features of social protection systems, as well as their application and impacts in practice. It is the first book that centres around system building globally, a theme that has gained political importance yet has received relatively little attention in academia. It offers practical recommendations on how greater harmonisation across social protection programmes and delivery mechanisms can be achieved but highlights also the importance of linkages to other policy fields.

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