COVID-19 Resources

The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis that requires unprecedent efforts from a truly global response. No one yet knows how long it will take and how its impacts will shape the future of our societies, but learning from concrete and practical guidance to social protection bridging humanitarian and development interventions can lead to better informed and effective short- and long-term responses.

Social protection is a policy instrument with robust, flexible and widely available delivery mechanisms.  As such, it holds significant potential to transform the ways countries respond to the pandemic and keep the pace of development processes to achieve resilience, peace, stabilisation and economic growth. Knowledge and effective international cooperation is central to rapid and effective responses, which can be oriented by lessons learned from a range of social protection policies and tools.

In 2017, the European Commission (EC) created the Guidance Package (GP) on Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus (SPaN) to outline the current body of knowledge, including brief definitions, and processes of social protection approaches in most challenging settings. The variety of contexts covered by the GP also includes countries where social protection systems are nationally led and those without any structures in place. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the GP launched its e-learning course providing insights and strategies for humanitarian and development staff introducing and reflecting knowledge from the GP´s materials

This COVID-19 Resources page is part of the GP knowledge framework. It summarizes main documents and sources guiding discussions and information on social protection efforts in times of COVID-19. Community members will find here a list of links to key online communities, documents and relevant sources providing updates on social protection efforts to make countries more responsive to the crisis. Just as the Guidance Package, this page is a living document that can and will be updated with the collaboration of members of our online community of practice. For that, please provide your comments in the bottom of the page.    

   Online resources of Projects, Discussions and Experts´ Collaboration Spaces

Discussion feeds on and online communities supported by the SPaN Initiative and partners.  

The Social Protection in times of COVID-19 Task Force, an initiative of the UNDP/IPC-IG, GIZ and DFAT, issued weekly newsletters mapping social protection responses to reduce the impacts of the pandemic and ensure support to those in need. The initiative also counts with the organization of news from regions, an Expert Advice Helpline (SPACE) and a Webinar SeriesSPACE is a joint initiative of FCDO’s Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) and Gender Responsive Social Protection (GSP) programmes (funded by UKAid); GIZ (funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development); and the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 

Documents published by SPACE have been instrumental for social protection responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below a short list of materials relevant to this group: 

      SPACE Informal Workers and Social Protection

      SPACE Useful COVID-19 and Social Protection Materials
      SPACE Understanding the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Who, Where, How, and When?
      SPACE Social Protection in the COVID-19 Recovery: Opportunities and Challenges
      SPACE Options for rapid delivery (payment) of cash transfers for COVID-19 responses and beyond
      Programming Guidance: Embedding Localisation in the Response to COVID-19
      SPACE Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert advice helpline
      SPACE Strengthening Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) During the Implementation of Social Protection Responses to COVID-19
      SPACE Social protection for older people during COVID-19 and beyond
      SPACE Preparing for Future Shocks: Priority Actions for Social Protection Practitioners in the Wake of COVID-19
      SPACE Guidance for Framing Case Studies on Social Protection Responses to COVID-19
      SPACE Value for Money of Social Protection and Humanitarian Cash Transfers in the Context of COVID-19
      SPACE Programming Options: ‘Cash Plus’ Approaches in the Response to COVID-19  
      SPACE The Potential Role of Economic Inclusion Programmes to Respond to Those Affected by COVID-19
      SPACE Social Protection and Humanitarian Cash and Food Responses to COVID-19: Needs, Coverage, and Gaps
      SPACE How Targeting Mechanisms Can Identify People With Disabilities for Inclusion in Social Protection Programmes
      SPACE Inclusive Information Systems for Social Protection: Intentionally Integrating Gender and Disability
      COVID-19 and the Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) and Conditional Cash Transfers for Education (CCTE) programmes
      SPACE Useful COVID-19 and Social Protection Materials
      SPACE Transfer Values: How Much Is Enough? Balancing social protection and humanitarian considerations
      Drivers of Timely and Large-Scale Cash Responses to COVID-19: what does the data say?

SP-HCT Links - weekly newsletters: a joint initiative between the Grand Bargain´s Cash Sub Group and the online community Social Protection in Crisis Contexts with highlights on relevant events, documents and mapping efforts to interested public. This initiative also counts with an informal hangout for practitioners organized every Wednesday. The link to each of the meetings is shared in the previous week´s newsletter. 

Grand Bargain´s Cash Sub Group initiative to map social protection and humanitarian cash linkages - The purpose of this live, shareable mapping is to support humanitarian actors in the field. It’s light touch. Initial focus is on countries/regions that have Humanitarian Response Plans. It is done in coordination with other mapping initiatives. 

ODI Research Project Social Protection Response to COVID-19 and beyond: lessons learned for adaptive social protection.  This research project examines social protection measures adopted since the onset of the pandemic, with the aims of promoting policy learning and helping ensure countries are better equipped with inclusive, adaptive and sustainable social protection systems moving forward. The project has a working paper series and a podcast addressing emerging evidence and learning for future crises, impact on gender equality, national cash transfer responses and urban cash, and provisions to refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other topics. 


   Key Documents

Communication on the Global EU response to COVID-19

Factsheet: EU global response to coronavirus: supporting our partner countries

Grand Bargain Cash Sub Group on Linking Social Protection and Humanitarian Cash Transfers Statement

A UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19

UN Secretary General Report - Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 (March 2020)

Social Protection Inter-Agency Cooperation Board (SPIAC-B) Joint Statement on the Role of Social Protection in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

UN Secretary General Policy Brief: Investing in Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication and a Sustainable Recovery (September 2021) 

Report of the UN Secretary-General Our Common Agenda (2021)

We critically need to increase our efforts to protect and support all people throughout the crisis, both in its health dimension as well as its economic and social repercussions. For this, we can draw on the range of social protection policies and tools at our disposal and on lessons learnt from earlier pandemics and economic and financial crises. - SPIAC-B Joint Statement on the Role of Social Protection in Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic


   Relevant Information Sources

EU Global Response to COVID-19

ILO COVID-19 and the World of Work & ILO Country Policy Responses

ILO Monitor of Social Protection Responses to COVID-19 Crisis around the World

Weekly Social Protection Links - World Bank Ugo Gentili´s newsletter on latest research and practices from the world of social protection . Also see the posts A round up of key cash transfers papers for 2020 and Social Protection in 2021: A compilation of suggested readings for lists of selected publications in the field. 

Social Protection Responses to COVID-19 in the Global South - Online Dashboard Developed by UNDP/IPC-IG and partners using a shock-responsive lens

International Social Security Association (ISSA) - COVID-19 Updates and Webinars

UN COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund (MPTF-O)

Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) - CVA and COVID-19: resources, guidance, events and questions

Key Policy Responses from OECD


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last update
28 January 2022

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