Parallel session
Social protection and aid

Over the past two decades, Social Assistance has emerged as a new paradigm in the fight against poverty and vulnerability in the Global South.

The rise of Social Assistance coincided with unprecedented changes in the economic and social structures of many developing nations, together with important democratic transitions that saw countries moving from military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes towards more competitive political systems.

Considering a world of rapid technological change, demographic transitions, and growing threats of conflict, and systemic macroeconomic risks this session will ask, what are challenges and opportunities for Social Assistance in the 21st Century? What factors are likely to underpin their evolution, effectiveness and sustainability? What are the research gaps that need to be filled to better guide future policy?

This panel brings together world leading experts in the area of Social Assistance to discuss these questions, taking as a point of reference UNU-WIDER work in this field over the past years.

Session videos

Parallel 4.2 | Social protection and aid

Armando Barrientos | Santiago Levy | Verónica Amarante | Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey | Q&A




Miguel Niño-Zarazùa | Chair | Presentation

Miguel Niño-Zarazúa is a Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER. Previously, he was a Research Fellow at the Brooks World Poverty Institute and the Chronic Poverty Research Centre at the University of Manchester, where he investigated the long-term effects of social transfer programmes in developing countries. His research interests include aid effectiveness; social protection and social sector development; poverty, inequality and vulnerability analysis; microfinance, and applied econometrics with specific focus on impact evaluation methods.

Armando Barrientos | Presenter | Presentation

Armando Barrientos is Professor of Poverty and Social Justice at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester, England. He is also co-Director of the International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa. His research focuses on the linkages existing between welfare programmes and labour markets in developing countries, and on policies addressing poverty and population ageing. His work has been widely published.

Santiago Levy | Presenter | Presentation

Santiago Levy is the Vice-President for Sectors and Knowledge at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). His previous positions include General Manager and Chief Economist for the IDB Research Department, General Director at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), and Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico. Dr Levy is the author of at least 75 articles, monographs and book chapters.

Verónica Amarante | Presenter | Presentation

Verónica Amarante is Director of the Montevideo Office of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, United Nations). She is also Professor in the Department of Economics at Universidad de la República in Uruguay. Her research focuses on poverty, inequality, labour markets, and social policies.

Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey | Discussant

Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey is an Associate Professor of Sociology and former Director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies (CSPS) at the University of Ghana and a past Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER). She has been involved in teaching, research and policy engagement and was instrumental in the design and launch of the Social Protection Strategy including the cash transfer programme LEAP (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty) in Ghana. She remains a Research Fellow at CSPS.