RECOVR Roundup Vol. 31: Social Protection in the Time of COVID-19
In this thirty-first installment of our RECOVR Roundup series, we are sharing new findings and analysis from the RECOVR Research Hub and from our partner organizations, as well as links on what is happening in the Social Protection landscape in response to COVID-19. Read the previous installment if you missed it, and sign up for our mailing list if you'd like to receive this roundup series directly to your inbox.
As always, we encourage you to write to our team with ideas for features.
New Findings & Analysis
Macedonia: Does it matter which parent receives a cash transfer?
Spending patterns differ, as do mothers’ preferences
A study by Ingvild Almås, Alex Armand, Orazio Attanasio, Pedro Carneiro, and Valérie Lechene examines whether it matters if a conditional cash transfer (CCT) goes to the mother or father in a household. Macedonia had a large CCT program for education which had been randomized by region to go to either parent. They found that when the transfers went to mothers, more money was spent on food. They also ran an experiment to see how much women valued being the recipient by testing how much of a new transfer they would give up to receive it themselves, rather than having it go to their husbands. On average women were willing to give up 19 percent of the transfer to receive it themselves. However, among women who were already the recipients of the government CCT, that number was higher (22 percent), which the researchers conclude is evidence of the empowering effects of the transfer on women. Read more here.
What We're Reading & Watching
- Policy debates on Universal Basic Income (UBI) surge around the world. UNESCO’s Inclusive Policy Lab issued a policy brief summarizing the current state of knowledge on the topic. It takes an innovative format, with different topics broken down into short bullet points and links to podcast-style interviews with experts on the topic.
- Discussions held during the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) are fueling greater interest in the link between social protection and climate change. Rigolini (2021) discusses the role of Social Protection and Labor in supporting both climate adaptation and mitigation efforts. Bharadwaj et al. (2021) offer an interesting comparative analysis of the efficiency of different social protection delivery mechanisms in the context of climate resilience.
- What are the similarities and differences in program design, participation, operation, and outcomes between transfer programs in the Global North and South? This chapter by Dwyer, Stewart, & Zhao sheds light on the research landscape to identify knowledge gaps that can help inform the development of future programs.
- The Government of Uganda through its Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development has launched the National Single Registry for Social Protection, ushering in a new generation of technology for planning, implementation, and monitoring of social protection programs in the country. The Government explains that it will help share data across departments and serve as a platform for rolling out new programs.