The Covid-19 pandemic has caused enormous economic, social and human losses. The global economy is now recovering, albeit in an unbalanced manner across countries, sectors of activity, firms and people. At the same time, a number of pre-pandemic challenges have yet to be addressed, not least those related to slow productivity growth, population ageing, climate change and digitalization.
Social protection and other welfare programmes are policy tools to help protect the basic needs of people, especially the most vulnerable, and keep communities healthy and prosperous. These programmes are being put to the test around the world. A particularly important policy challenge is to reform these programmes in a manner that makes economies and societies more resilient to future shocks.
Against this background, the session will identify options for reform of social protection and welfare programmes to boost resilience. This may include the design of targeted support for workers and firms in times of crisis, the need to deal with changing risks and opportunities, the emergence of non-standard forms of work and informality in labour relations, and financing options against a background of stretched public finances. The session will bring together analysis and policymakers to exchange views on policy priorities.