Over half of the world’s population live in low-income and informal urban communities and this proportion is growing. Despite the higher socioeconomic risks, people living in cities have less access to effective social protection compared to rural areas, and less resilience to urban shocks, stresses and crises.
Building on lessons from COVID-19 relief efforts in India and Zimbabwe, this online event will debate whether successful urban social protection exists, what it looks like, and how it can be used to reduce structural poverty and build resilience in cities.
COVID-19 hit the world’s low-income and informal urban communities hard. The need for resources and relief from the pandemic impact was urgent, but many state and governmental responses were delayed or ineffective.
During this critical time, new sets of actors mobilised to respond to the crisis and diverse forms of social protection began to emerge. In some areas, food, healthcare, education, income support and social protection delivery systems were expanded and innovated with ‘temporary’ measures that created new categories of recipients, forms of entitlement and delivery mechanisms.
On World Cities Day, this online IIED Debates event will explore lessons from pandemic relief efforts in two large Indian cities, New Delhi and Jaipur, and four informal settlements in Zimbabwe.
We will bring together leading thinkers to ask: how can the lessons inform social protection design and delivery in cities in the Majority World? How can we harmonise social protection delivered by diverse state and non-state institutions in informal settlements?
Building on pandemic experiences, our speakers will debate whether civil society organisations should be recognised as infrastructure for social protection in cities that go beyond final mile delivery and whether cities should be prioritised for the deployment of innovative alternative forms of social protection.
About the speakers
- Anna Walnycki, principal researcher, Human Settlements research group, IIED (moderator)
- Aditya Bahadur, principal researcher, Human Settlements research group, IIED (moderator)
- Gautam Bhan, associate dean, School of Human Development, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore
- Rashee Mehra, consultant – academics & research, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
- George Masimba, programmes director, Dialogue on Shelter
- Teurai Anna Nyamangara, researcher and projects officer, Dialogue on Shelter
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