Adaptive Social Protection: Building Resilience to Shocks
At the time of finalizing this publication on Adaptive Social Protection (ASP), the world entered the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left no country unaffected by its sweeping impacts. Although the long-term trajectory of these widespread health, economic, and social impacts is uncertain, its immediate consequences have already resulted in significant losses in terms of lives and livelihoods. A period of prolonged, often extreme, hardship is being endured by many who are undergoing social distancing and experiencing reduced income and diminished consumption. This is especially true for the poorest among us, with the lowest capacity to cope.
As the crisis has taken hold, policy makers have been reminded of the value of having strong social protection systems in place that are capable of reaching affected households with immediate assistance. Toward the end of April 2020, as many as 133 countries had planned, introduced, or adjusted social protection programs in response to COVID-19. At the same time, the crisis is shining a light on both the enabling and constraining factors that affect governments’ ability to leverage social protection systems to address large, covariate shocks of this sort.