COSP16: Progress towards Inclusive and shock responsive Social Protection Systems in different contexts

14 June 2023

Side event to the 16th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities


Before the COVID 19 pandemic, Ukraine conflict and subsequent cost of living crisis, persons with disabilities across regions and countries were already facing multiple barriers and significant inequalities in terms of poverty, education, health, work, and social participation. The succession and combination of crises exacerbated those vulnerabilities, and there are legitimate concerns that they will widen those inequalities even more.

In regular times and even more so during crises, social protection has a crucial role in ensuring basic income security, providing access to health care, and covering the diversity of disability-related costs faced in relation to education, work, and living in the community.  However, globally less than 30% of persons with significant disabilities have access to disability-related benefits, down to less than 10% in low-income countries.  

In the last years, we have witnessed a growth of initiatives in many countries to build more inclusive and shock responsive social protection systems, including through developing disability management information system and inclusive social protection registries as well as in engaging in expansion of cash transfers and seeking to reform existing systems to be more supportive of inclusion.

Following 2019 joint statement on inclusive social protection systems and the 2022 global conference on disability inclusion and social protection, UNICEF and ILO together with GIZ, FCDO, WB, Helpage and IDA have been working on a guidance document to support countries further efforts.

The side event will be articulated around three segments:

  • First, it will provide an overview of the technical guidance document on inclusive social protection systems and launch the related public consultation
  • Second, it will offer perspectives on low and lower middle-income countries seeking to build disability assessment mechanisms and inclusive social protection information systems to better target support for persons with disabilities in general and during crisis
  • Finally, it will review initiatives to scale up different social protection programs that progressively combine in-cash and in-kind support to enhance resilience and equal community participation.

Agenda and Speakers

  • Opening remarks:
    • Hon. Baindu Dassama-Kamara, Minister of Social Welfare, Sierra Leone
    • Diana Dalton, UK-FCDO Deputy Director and Head of the Gender and Equalities Department, Foreign, commonwealth and development office, UK
    • Nawaf Kabbara – International Disability Alliance- Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities
  • Introduction of the global guidance document on Social protection system for inclusion persons with disabilities and related consultation process:
    • Alexandre Cote, Social Policy Specialist (UNICEF)
    • Veronika Wodsak, Social Protection Specialist (ILO)
  • Dual track to inclusive targeting: inclusive social protection registry and development of disability assessment and determination mechanisms and registry in Sierra Leone
    • Francis Kabia, Directorate Ministry of Social Affair, Sierra Leone
  • Towards a comprehensive support system: Update on the Rwanda’s Disability Management Information System initiative and new social protection strategy
    • National Council of Persons with Disabilities (TBC)
  • Insights in support requirements of persons with disabilities in Kenya
    • Tina Mungatana, State Department of social protection, Kenya
  • Supporting inclusive social safety net programs at scale: the World Bank experience
    • Andrey Tretyak (TBC), Senior Social Protection Specialist
    • Nahla Zeitoun, Senior Social Protection Specialist
  • Closing remarks
    • Ola Abu Alghaib, Manager technical Secretariat (UNPRDP)

For registrations, click here.