Online learning about social protection, for everyone everywhere

1st July 2020

Never has the need for social protection been greater. In response to the economic and social fallout of Covid-19, almost every country in the world has introduced or expanded programmes that support those who are most vulnerable.

Informal and farm workers, migrants and people on the move, and children and their caregivers are among those who are hardest hit by the pandemic and the measures to contain it. Innovative solutions are being tried and tested across the Global South in order to reach those in need fast and with adequate support, such as increasing the amount of support for those who were already beneficiaries of social protection and extending support to others through e-payments. In addition to these vital short-term response, the large and long-lasting effects of the pandemic also calls for long-term expansion and strengthening of social protection systems.

A crucial factor in achieving this is capacity building. It necessitates a solid understanding of the functions of social protection and the range of interventions that are available in the ‘social protection toolkit’. Learning about how social protection has evolved and is implemented across the globe offers insight and inspiration in how things might be done differently. More than ever, it has become clear that such learning opportunities should be available to everyone with an interest in social protection, regardless of where they are.

The Centre for Social Protection at IDS, in collaboration with Irish Aid, is proud to launch the online course Social Protection: A Primer. This is a fully accessible course that is offered free of charge to anyone who would like to get familiar with or update their knowledge on social protection. It provides a basic understanding of key concepts and definitions, elaborates on the main instruments in the ‘social protection toolkit’, delves into regional differences and considers key issues in building social protection systems. The course can be followed at one’s own pace, includes many examples and offers certificate upon completion.

Photo credit:  Tiguirizane women at fish pond in Tiguirizane Association, Tsuende village, Moatize District, Tete Province, Mozambique | Peter Fredenburg/WorldFish | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

This blog  originally appeared on the IDS website.


Keetie Roelen

Dr Keetie Roelen is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and Co-Director of the Centre for Social Protection. She is a development economist by training and current research interests include the dynamics of (child) poverty, social protection and the linkages between child protection and social protection.

Keetie has worked with many international organisations such as UNICEF, FAO and Concern Worldwide, performing research and policy advice work in South East Asia, Southern and Eastern Africa and Central and Eastern Europe. She has quantitative and qualitative research skills and has designed and delivered lectures and training courses for Masters students, professionals, practitioners and policy makers. Her work has been published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publications and book chapters, working papers and project reports.