Parallel session
Social protection

This session covers research on the impact of COVID-19 and associated social protection measures on poverty and inequality in Africa and South America. The studies broadly confirm that the lockdown measures implemented in early 2020 have had devastating socioeconomic effects across the two continents. On the bright side, the authors also find evidence of effective social protection reforms in a handful of countries and among specific demographics, offering valuable lessons for social and health policy across the developing world.

Jesse Lastunen | Chair

Jesse Lastunen is a research associate at UNU-WIDER, where his work focuses on tax-benefit microsimulation models. He has previously worked for organizations such as OECD, RAND Corporation, Internet Association, and the Technopolis Group, conducting policy-oriented research on labour markets and emerging technologies.

Omolola Adeola | Presenter

Omolola Adeola Omolola Adeola is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD in Development Finance from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and a master’s degree from the University of Reading, United Kingdom. Her research interests include foreign capital flows, unemployment, poverty, and inequality. Her current research focuses on poverty and inequality issues in South Africa.

Valentina Martinez PaboValentina Martinez Pabon | Presenter

Valentina Martinez Pabon is a PhD Student at Tulane University, USA.



Yara GomesYara Corrêa Gomes | Presenter

Yara Corrêa Gomes is a master's student in applied economics at the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil. She is interested in health and environmental economics.


Amaka Metu | Presenter

Amaka Metu is a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria, where she earned a PhD (Economics)  in 2017. Her research interest focuses on the field of entrepreneurship and development studies particularly inclusive growth, institutions and macroeconomic policies, published in both national and international journals. She is a member of the Nigerian Economic Society, and a  research fellow of Pan-African Scientific Research Council. Dr Amaka Metu is currently the Coordinator Postgraduate Programmes of the Department of Economics Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka.

Christoph StrupatChristoph Strupat | Presenter

Christoph Strupat is Economist and Senior Researcher of the Research Programme 'Transformation of Economic and Social Systems' at the German Development Institute. He works in the areas of social protection, health and applied economics. He conducts several projects across Africa and Asia that study the design features and impacts of social protection and health insurance schemes.