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The Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice Helpline


National governments are at the centre of delivering social protection responses to COVID-19. The Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice Helpline (SPACE) provides governments and their implementing partners with support in thinking through how to maintain or adapt existing systems and programmes to meet rapidly growing needs, while thinking through future steps to enhance 'preparedness'. Through a multi-disciplinary ‘ask-the-experts’ service, SPACE provides a sounding board for decision-makers in COVID-19 responses – challenging or affirming existing thinking and supporting innovation. You can find more information on SPACE and how to access the service here - or you can contact our Team Leader Valentina Barca or space@dai.com if you have any questions.

Beyond a wide number of country engagements over the past six months, the 25+ expert team behind SPACE has co-created a suite of tools and reference documents to help decision-makers make sense of a broad body of global evidence on shock responsive social protection and humanitarian cash assistance – within their own operating context and in specific relation to the Covid-19 response. We share some of these here, hoping they can be of use (recent ones with **).

  • **To start with, a useful and updated 'resources' document, organising almost everything that has been published on social protection and COVID-19 thematically! So much has been said and written - this is a good starting point to navigate that.
Framing documents
  •  SPACE Strategy Decision Matrix: Structured to make sure relevant COVID responses are all evaluated consistently against a set of critical dimensions, including: Coverage, Adequacy, Comprehensiveness, Timeliness, Cost-effectiveness, Accountability to affected populations; Predictability, and Ownership and sustainability. This document will help you systematically think through the merits of various options; the challenges and risks inherent in each; and potential mitigation strategies for these.
  • SPACE Delivery System Matrix: Structured to assess the relevant dimensions of the social protection delivery chain, questioning the strength of existing systems (capacity, registration, payments, etc) and whether/how these can be leveraged, adapted or complemented for the COVID-19 response.
  • **Guidance for framing Case Studies on social protection responses to COVID-19: Offering guidance on how to ensure that forthcoming Case Studies on COVID-19 responses are documented systematically, enabling comparability and learning. It suggests a structure of the key areas and dimensions to consider, and detailed questions to answer under each heading. 
Thematic overview documentsImplementation-support documentsSPACE – Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice – is funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and German Development Cooperation (GDC). SPACE is managed by DAI Europe Ltd contracted through the FCDO framework agreement EACDS Lot B service ‘Strengthening resilience and response to crises’, and the technical advice is provided by independent consultants contracted by FCDO, GIZ and other partners.

Feel free to reach out to our team at space@dai.com
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