Social development and protection

  • South Asia again confronts displacement by Mother Nature’s wrath

    By Bart Édes on Monday, 20 May 2013

    Thankfully, the eventual impact of Cyclone Mahasen on South Asia was softer than feared before it struck land this past week. However, the storm still left dozens dead and caused the precautionary evacuation or subsequent displacement of one million persons living in coastal areas around the Bay of Bengal.  

  • Floating houses under a bridge.

    Social protection floors for an inclusive crisis recovery

    By on Thursday, 09 May 2013

    Crises oblige policymakers to rethink development models. The 1929 financial crash led to a New Deal that radically altered the development model of the day.

  • Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary. See Conditional Cash Transfer <a href="">photo essay</a>

    Observations of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in the field

    By Brian Chin on Monday, 06 May 2013

    I participated in the South-South Learning on Conditional Cash Transfers workshop held at ADB Headquarters, 16-19 April 2013 that was organized in cooperation with Inter-American Development Bank.

  • Giving people the tools to demand better public services

    By Bart Édes on Saturday, 04 May 2013

    Poor people rely more on the state for essential services and assistance than those in the middle and upper classes, who have more options available to them. 

  • Impressions from the World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting – Ministerial Roundtable on social protection

    By Susann Roth on Monday, 29 April 2013

    I would like to keep you at pace with the global dialogue on social protection. This year the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank hosted the second annual Ministerial Roundtable discussion entitled, “Closing the Gap – Safety Nets Where the Needs are Greatest."

  • Cooking second-generation conditional cash transfers: What’s the best recipe?

    By on Friday, 26 April 2013

    Nowadays, the secret to coming up with better nourishment is to check what recipes are available online, read reviews and attempt to come up with your own by mixing ingredients and techniques gathered from different sources.  

  • Why social protection should top the Asian agenda

    By on Friday, 19 April 2013

    As 2013 brings more sluggish growth for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the developing nations of Asia remain the stellar performers of the global economy. And yet on one key indicator the region is lagging behind: investment in social protection in Asia and the Pacific region is lower than in any part of the developing world except sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Migrant workers: Doing the dirty work for others

    By Bart Édes on Monday, 15 April 2013

    Millions of workers from developing Asia and the Pacific venture to richer economies in the region, the Middle East, and beyond to fill gaps in the labor market. They take on menial jobs that require little schooling and no formal qualifications.

  • Social protection – What’s in a name?

    By on Monday, 15 April 2013

    Working in the development field brings us closer to people. While there’s no assurance that what we are doing would create huge impacts on development, we take comfort in knowing that in our own little ways, we contribute to a higher purpose – human development.

  • Photo credit: Lester V. Ledesma for ADB 2011

    Government budgets strengthen safety nets, inclusiveness

    By Bart Édes on Monday, 25 March 2013

    With their middle and lower economic classes being squeezed, governments overseeing several leading Asian economies are responding with greater social spending and tax relief.

  •  A fallen tree near a damaged railroad track in Pakistan. Photo credit: Gerhard Jörén 2010.

    Why don’t we act on the facts of climate change?

    By Susann Roth on Thursday, 28 February 2013

    I am not an environment or climate change expert, but I am an environmentalist out of conviction. When I was 14 years old I wrote a letter to the German Minister of Environment asking for faster policy action to reduce green house gas emissions.

  • Social protection: Killing two birds with one stone

    By Indu Bhushan on Thursday, 28 February 2013

    I have been in several discussions recently in which people have argued that there is a definite trade-off between promoting economic growth and supporting inclusiveness. In particular, social protection is considered part of a set of welfare-oriented “populist policies” which is a drain on national budgets, as opposed to real investment to spur economic growth.

  • Aging: A threat to People’s Republic of China’s growth

    By Yolanda Fernandez Lommen on Thursday, 21 February 2013

    Aging can adversely affect economic performance, demanding changes in social and economic policies to address the challenge. While the best-known dimension of aging relates to fiscal sustainability due to spiraling health care and pension costs, the repercussions are wider. More worryingly, aging will ultimately constrain economic growth because labor supply shortages result in lower GDP growth in the absence of increases in total factor productivity.

  • As part of a study on ADB's Social Protection Strategy, the Independent Evaluation Department (IED) conducted a field visit in Cebu City, Philippines, to draw lessons from a cash transfer program funded by the World Bank and ADB. Photo Credit: Nadejda Kondratiev

    A call for stronger social protection

    By Vinod Thomas on Thursday, 03 January 2013

    Social protection is moving up in the global development agenda with good reason. Sweeping social and demographic changes will be an unstoppable driver of demand for governments to provide social protection—as will widening wealth gaps, economic crises, and, especially in Asia and the Pacific, the increased severity of natural disasters.

  • New ILO standard sets the floor for social protection

    By Bart Édes on Thursday, 27 December 2012

    Perhaps the most significant global social policy development in 2012 was approval of the International Labour Organization (ILO) recommendation on creation of social protection floors. Approved in June, the recommendation calls on the ILO’s 185 members to ensure that everyone in need has access to essential health care and basic income security.

  • Dialogues on Change: Up Close with Aung San Suu Kyi

    By Stephen P. Groff on Wednesday, 12 December 2012

    My second meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was in early November. I had returned to the country to meet with officials and discuss next steps following our Board’s approval of our interim country partnership strategy. Following a variety of meetings in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, we returned to her residence on the outskirts of the capital. Madame Suu Kyi again greeted us at the entrance to her home and ushered us to the same table.

  • Meeting Myanmar’s Iconic Lady

    By Stephen P. Groff on Tuesday, 04 December 2012

    Over the course of our eleven-month “re-engagement” with Myanmar and my three trips to the country since June, I have discussed prospects for the country with literally hundreds of people. In a September op-ed, I quoted Rudyard Kipling who referred to the country as "quite unlike any land you know about" in his 1898 collection Letters from the East and these discussions leave me convinced that this century-old observation holds true.

  • Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) dropped 455mm of rain in Metro Manila in a span of 24 hours on 26 September 2009. A month’s worth of rainfall in a single day washed away homes and flooded large areas, killing hundreds and stranding thousands in the city and nearby provinces.

    Natural disasters and how much they affect the economy

    By Vinod Thomas on Thursday, 29 November 2012

    “We’ve never seen anything like this” is the refrain increasingly heard in every corner of the world in the wake of natural disasters. Indeed, intense natural disasters have increased nearly fourfold over the past four decades, with floods and storms representing 70% of the increase. Asia and the Pacific has been the worst hit region. Yet, the response to hazards of nature has been mostly to react when they strike. The upshot I see is this: unless prevention takes center stage, disasters will likely unravel progress.

  • Myanmar Awakens

    By Cyn-Young Park on Thursday, 29 November 2012

    Myanmar emerges from decades of isolation. Following a general election in 2010— which installed a civilian government albeit with still considerable military influence—Myanmar has undertaken significant political, economic and policy reforms.