Social protection in the COVID-19 era: What does the evidence tell us?

A woman wearing a mask helps an older woman to tie on her mask.
Photo: Ma Andyanto |

COVID-19 has caused significant economic shocks with potentially lasting impacts on global poverty. Studies show that in Indonesia, as many as 8.5 million people could fall into poverty and as many as 12.7 million people may lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

The Government of Indonesia (GoI) has expanded its social protection programs to help cushion the poor against economic shocks due to COVID-19. Along with this expansion, the GoI also needs to design more effective and efficient programs to adapt to this challenging time.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Southeast Asia office has continued to support policymakers by generating evidence and lessons for tackling challenges resulting from COVID-19. To extend current efforts and share some of the lessons learned, J-PAL Southeast Asia is hosting a webinar, “Social Protection in the COVID-19 Era: What does the evidence tell us?” featuring J-PAL Southeast Asia’s Scientific Directors Rema Hanna and Benjamin A. Olken to present evidence-based insights on how to strengthen safety nets to protect the poor during COVID-19. They will highlight how government welfare and social protection schemes can mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and share key lessons on improving program targeting, modeling, and delivery. 

The webinar will also feature Indonesia’s Deputy Minister of Finance to provide an overview of Indonesia’s strategies in strengthening social protection and how the use of scientific evidence can be relevant to inform decisions for Indonesia’s COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Key information

Date: Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Time: 4.30-6.00 pm GMT+7 (Jakarta time)

Where: Live via Zoom. Livestream via TNP2KKomunikasi


Welcoming remarks

  • Lina Marliani (Executive Director, J-PAL SEA/LPEM FEB UI)
  • Kirsten Bishop (Minister Counsellor, Governance and Human Development Branch, Australian Embassy Jakarta)

Keynote speech

  • Suahasil Nazara (Deputy Minister of Finance of Indonesia)

Presentation: “Social Protection in the COVID-19 Era: What does the evidence tell us?”

  • Benjamin Olken (Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Scientific Director, J-PAL SEA)
  • Rema Hanna (Harvard Kennedy School; Scientific Director, J-PAL SEA)
  • Moderator: Elan Satriawan (Chief Policy Working Group, National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction)

This event is free and open to the public.