Blowing out the candles: platform celebrates its third anniversary


By Denise Marinho dos Santos, Senior Communications Officer

Brasília, 12 September 2018 – On the International Day for South-South Cooperation, — the online platform dedicated to social protection themes— celebrates its third anniversary, going from strength to strength, and presenting new features.

Since its launch in 2015, has brought together almost 3,600 members, 945 stakeholders, and directed access to nearly 3,700 publications. It has organised 73 webinars, hosted five online courses, and is home to 40 online communities, of which 10 are currently active. The platform is available in English and French and was recently launched in Spanish. (Click here to register to the platform for free). is the first unbranded platform dedicated to social protection issues, seeing the promotion and dissemination of a plethora of content from a wide array of stakeholders in the field. It seeks to foster knowledge-sharing and capacity-strengthening among policymakers, practitioners and specialists on efficient social protection policies and programmes by drawing on the experiences of low-income and middle-income countries. Among its distinguishing features is the fact that it is an organic collaborative space, where people interact directly to share knowledge.

“By being member-based and collaborative, we aim for users to have ownership of the platform. They can add content they think is relevant and tailor its tools for their specific purposes. For instance, they can create a survey using the survey tool, or launch an online community”, said Mariana Balboni, the platform’s coordinator and the Senior Project Officer at the IPC-IG. “All content disseminated through the platform — whether webinars, courses or publications — is completely free of charge.”

All the content uploaded to is reviewed by its knowledge management team and categorised according to the platform’s custom, tailored taxonomy, to facilitate efficient searching. The platform provides access to the latest and most relevant content from large international agencies and organisations as well as small research centres.

As part of the knowledge-sharing activities on the platform, the free webinars are a valuable interactive learning tool. Discussing a broad range of issues related to social protection, they are carried out with partner institutions every Thursday.

“We frequently receive requests from the platform’s members, stakeholders or partners to host webinars when they wish to disseminate a new study, for instance, or they might reach out to us to organise a webinar on a specific topic. This clearly demonstrates their understanding that organising a webinar through the platform is a valuable strategy for their institutions and/or projects”, said Mariana. “Our webinars were attended by more than 4,600 people, with an average of more than 60 attendees per webinar, a great result!”

Knowledge exchange and debate carries on long after the webinar sessions are over: the webinar’s recording is made available on’s YouTube channel, PowerPoint presentations are shared, and summaries of the sessions are prepared and published as blog posts on the platform.

While started out as a repository of publications on social protection, it has evolved into a full-fledged interactive platform, with many new and evolving features. One of them is the weekly Blog, which was implemented following user feedback captured in the annual User Satisfaction Survey. Any registered member can publish a blog post on social protection-related themes, as long as it respects the platform’s guidelines. ‘Events’ comprise another new feature, requested by the platform stakeholders. Since being implemented last year, they have enjoyed remarkable success – attracting more than 1,500 live viewers in just two events.

The platform’s Virtual Campus was developed and relaunched over the past year: e-courses, produced in collaboration with partner organisations, are now hosted in the platform. Since its launch, two instructor led courses  have been introduced and more are soon to follow.

The first was the TRANSFORM online course, an adaptation of the eight-module curriculum ‘Leadership & Transformation Curriculum on Building and Managing Social Protection Floors in Africa’. It was developed by a group of agencies, led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNICEF, and the European Union Social Protection System Project (EU-SPS). It caters primarily to African policymakers and practitioners, featuring collaborative activities, such as peer-to-peer learning and group discussions. The third run of the e-course is anticipated to take place in 2018. thanks to increasing demand from practitioners. 

The second e-course was the capacity development course, ‘Poverty analysis for multisectoral policymaking’, jointly designed by the IPC-IG and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Offered twice this year, catering to members in Panama (in Spanish) and Morocco (in French), this course made extensive use of’s digital tools, involving virtual, face-to-face, and coaching follow-up phases.

Three years after the launch of, its team has amassed considerable experience in fostering knowledge-sharing and capacity-strengthening on social protection issues using online tools. This experience led to the creation and maintenance of successful and meaningful Online Communities, with active moderation and constantly fostering new discussions. Online Communities are a useful tool in disseminating and fostering dialogue on specific topics, such as shock-responsive social protection.

“Online Communities can also be attached to specific webinars and this combination can potentialise the knowledge produced and shared on any given theme. They can also be created as small, closed communities to be used as private working groups”, explained Mariana. is facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ). It is supported by the United Nations Development Working Group of the G20 and the Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board, (SPIAC-B). The is developed and hosted by the IPC-IG.










Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 18:15