Expert Insight
Published on October 8, 2020

Lessons from Shock-Responsive Social Protection for an Integrated Approach to COVID-19

The United Nations’ Joint SDG Fund is a new global pooled funding mechanism for transformative policy and strategic financing that accelerate progress towards the SDGs. The Fund’s portfolio on Integrated Social Protection for Leaving No One Behind invests USD 103 million over 2 years into 35 Joint Programmes in 39 countries for innovative policy solutions that prioritize the most vulnerable. The programmes are implemented by 600+ partners to facilitate multi-sectoral and transformative change. The Theories of Change of the programmes emphasize catalytic results in health care, education, social welfare services, childcare, employment, social cohesion, and pensions systems. Given that the most vulnerable that are particularly affected by COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund’s investment into integrated social protection is more critical than ever (see here how the portfolio adapted to COVID-19).


Amongst other innovations, the programmes apply Shock-Responsive Social Protection (SRSP) to design systems that safeguard populations vulnerable to risks related to natural disasters and climate change, which is now accompanied by the public health crisis. This approach is addressed by 6 Joint Programmes: Mongolia, Indonesia, Malawi, Philippines, and in the multi-country offices of Barbados and Samoa. For an overview of different approaches, see the Factsheet. Besides “quick wins” in the first months of 2020, the portfolio is generating lessons learned on the use of SRSP to address multiple and reinforcing crises in the context of systemic impact of COVID-19 upon the SDGs.


The Fund organized a side event on 7 October 2020 as a part of the Global e-Conference Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What’s next for social protection. The event focused on Lessons from Shock-Responsive Social Protection for an Integrated Approach to COVID-19 and acceleration of the progress on the SDGs (see the event webpage here). The Fund had also an opportunity to present its overall investment to the integrated approach for Leaving No One Behind in the Virtual Expo Booth.


The side event was an opportunity to provide an overview of the approach to integrated social protection, focusing on the countries where SRSP is applied. It emphasized innovations triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic that demonstrate strategic and catalytic role of integrated, cross-sectoral policies for enabling coherent and systemic transformations leading to acceleration of the SDGs. This was showcased in presentations from 3 Joint Programmes presented by:

  • Dr Annisa Gita Srikandini from Indonesia,
  • Sarah Bailey and Christina Dankmeyer from the Multi-Country Office Barbados, and
  • Bolormaa Purevsuren from Mongolia.


The panel discussion that followed was facilitated by Dr. Nenad Rava, Head of Programme of the Joint SDG Fund, focusing on the questions from the audience. You can check the links with the slides and video recording or download the slides from this blog post.

For more information on the Fund’s approach in this portfolio, see Diverse Innovation Portfolio for SDGs and read Human Interest Stories and Expert Insights from field in the Latest.