IPC-IG researcher speaks at poverty reduction forum
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) Researcher Maya Hammad delivered a presentation at the Uzbekistan International Poverty Reduction Forum, held in a hybrid format (both and on- and off-line) on 26 and 27 May, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The conference aimed at creating a dialogue platform to discuss the challenges and prospects for further poverty reduction, as well as foment cooperation and exchange experiences among participants.
Hammad spoke during Panel Session 9, held on 27 May, on “how to better design social protection programs, balancing between incentives”. The session addressed the coverage and targeting of social protection programmes, including those implemented in Uzbekistan. It also provided an overview of financing for the COVID-19 response and covered the role of digital technologies in the pandemic.
The panel was moderated by Marina Novikova, a social protection specialist at the World Bank and in addition to Hammad, featured speakers were: Jean David Naudet, fellow researcher at the French Development Agency; Jamshid Abruyev, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Brooks F. Evans, economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Umid Aliyev, social policy officer at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and Ruslan Yemtsov, Human Development Programme Leader for China, Mongolia and Korea at the World Bank.
In her presentation, Hammad touched on the role of digital technologies in the social protection response to COVID. Her presentation is a brief snapshot of a larger report titled “Next Practices: Innovations in the COVID-19 Social Protection Responses and Beyond”, published by the IPC-IG and commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme’s Bureau for Programme and Policy Support (UNDP BPPS). The publication provides an curatorship of social protection innovations that have been implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the innovations that can be leveraged to build more inclusive and sustainable social protection systems in the medium and long term. It is an outcome of a project developed in partnership by both institutions.
Drawing on the IPC-IG's Social Protection Responses to COVID-19 dashboard, which includes 961 COVID-19 responses in 129 countries in the global South, Hammad stated that “the use of technological innovations (such as social registries, web portals and mobile money) was important in both expanding coverage and delivering assistance rapidly”. Nonetheless, she indicated that digital technologies are not flawless and have significant impacts on accessibility. Therefore, one of the lessons learned from the pandemic is the importance of redundancies in times of crises, such as multiple modes of identification, registration and payment to ensure that no one is left behind.
Watch the recordings here.