Parallel session
Socioeconomic effects in South Asia

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to one of the worst global economic crises in recent times. As businesses have been suffering, unemployment is on the rise with millions of people struggling to remain their livelihoods. Moreover, nationwide lockdowns and international mobility restrictions have disrupted global supply chains. The pandemic has also placed enormous strain on healthcare systems, exposing fragilities in public health infrastructure, particularly in the developing world. Governments and policymakers around the world are now faced with the daunting challenge of devising effective policies for economic and social recovery.

Undoubtedly, drawing lessons from the gaps and vulnerabilities of the current economic system is instrumental to build back better and embark on a sustainable recovery process. In this regard, this session aims to bring together leading researchers from South Asia to discuss the effects of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods in their own countries, the policy responses and how effective have they been, and how COVID-19 will transform the economies, states and societies of the South Asian region.


Session convened by SANEM

Selim Raihan | Chair 

Selim RaihanSelim Raihan is a Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and the Executive Director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling. He holds a PhD from the University of Manchester, UK. He possesses vast expertise in empirical research on international trade, economic growth, poverty, labour market, macroeconomic policies, political economy, and climate change issues. He has published extensively as journal articles, books, book chapters and working papers.

Ganga TilakaratnaGanga Tilakaratna | Presenter

Ganga Tilakaratna is a Research Fellow and Head of Poverty and Social Welfare Policy Research at the Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS).She has nearly 20 years of research experience in the areas of social protection, sustainable development goals (SDGs), financial inclusion, poverty and ageing. She has a PhD from the University of Manchester (UK) and MPhil in Economics from University of Cambridge (UK) and has worked as a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, UNDESA and UNESCAP. 

Puspa Sharma | Presenter

Pupsa Sharma Puspa Sharma is the Executive Director of South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), a think tank based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the organization’s flagship Trade Insight. He has more than 15 years of experience in policy research and advocacy on trade and development issues. His writings have appeared in several publications in the form of research reports, book chapters, policy briefs, briefing papers, and peer reviewed articles in established journals. Puspa is a member of the International Advisory Network of the Forum on Trade, Environment & the SDGs (TESS)—an initiative of The Graduate Institute, Geneva. 

Prabir De | Presenter

Prabir De is a Professor at the Research and Information System for Developing Countries, New Delhi. He works in the field of international economics and has research interests in international trade and development. He was a Visiting Fellow of the Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO), Japan; Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo; and Visiting Senior Fellow of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok.

Vaqar Ahmed | Presenter

Vaqar AhmedVaqar Ahmed is a former civil servant and currently Joint Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Earlier, he has served UNDP,  World Bank Group, and Ministries of Finance, Planning and Commerce in Pakistan. He is also the honorary Research Fellow at Partnership for Economic Policy, Canada and continues to serve as a visiting faculty member and researcher in different international institutes, including the University of Laval in Canada, University of Le Havre in France, and National University of Ireland. He was the recipient of the 2015 Young Leaders Fellowship award by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.