AVPN Global Conference 2023 | 20 - 22 June 2023


AVPN Webinar: Financing Solutions for Social Protection in COVID-19 Response and Recovery

By Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN)


Online and Singapore

Date & time

04 September 2020



04 September 2020


About this event

AVPN Webinar: Financing Solutions for Social Protection in
COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Friday, 4 September
11:00am – 12:00pm (GMT +8)

Register Now

This webinar is the first of a three-part COVID-19 Webinar Series co-organised with the UNDP.

The global pandemic has posed major development challenges affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. COVID-19 response measures have curtailed economic activities and placed a growing number of individual’s livelihoods at risk, with many slipping below the poverty line with narrow options for recovery.

Social protection serves as a pillar of counter-cyclical economic policy by delivering rapid financial support to the most vulnerable, providing resources to those that will use them to both directly protect themselves and support the economy. For many countries, social protection programs have been a crucial part of the COVID-19 response. Although still insufficient, the coverage of recent programs has grown exponentially across the region. The most urgent priority is rapidly increasing the coverage of these traditional social protection programs.

Financing for social protection mainly comes from public funds. However, the almost universal coverage required to deal with the pandemic raises a need to explore new sources of finance for social assistance during the response and recovery efforts. To expand the coverage of the current social protection system, it is important to explore alternatives to either expanding the fiscal space or leveraging private finance into this sector through innovative finance schemes.

This session explores some of these new financing options and considers the benefits of partnerships which engage the private sector in social protection programming. It will also review real-life initiatives that highlight ways of working between government, private sector investors and individuals in reshaping the landscape of social protection into the future.

Key takeaways:

  • Showcase how public-private partnerships around social protection schemes that use innovative finance are even more crucial for a robust and expanded social protection response to COVID-19.
  • Explore the factors and pre-conditions for building effective social protection programming with sustainable financing in a manner that facilitates longer term recovery. What is the role of impact investors in this space?
  • Showcase how the current confluence of both climate and pandemic risks is stretching our institutions and financing systems/mechanisms to the limit, but that there are also opportunities to re-imagine the future of how we do business and how the financial sector can innovate in order to reach the poorest, while also safeguarding SDG gains.
Joanne Manda
Regional Advisor, Climate Change & Innovative Finance,

Joanne is the Regional Advisor in UNDP Indonesia’s Innovative Finance Lab (IF Lab) and shares her time between the Indonesia country office and the Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH). She provides policy advice and technical assistance on financing the SDGs to the IF Lab and countries in Asia Pacific.

Joanne is passionate about generating development results through innovative financing mechanisms. Over the past six years she has been supporting countries in Asia Pacific to strengthen planning and budgeting systems to deliver on climate change actions and SDG targets.

Joanne holds an MSc. Environment and Development from the University of London. Prior to joining UNDP, Joanne worked for 12 years with UK DFID as Livelihoods and Climate Change Advisor developing social protection, disaster management, urban poverty reduction and climate change adaptation programmes in Africa and South Asia before joining UNDP BRH in 2013.

She is the mother to three inquisitive children, wife to one incredible husband and enjoys music and reading in her rare spare time!

Gisela Tiongson
Executive Director,
Jollibee Group Foundation

Gisela is the Executive Director of Jollibee Group Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC). JFC operates the Philippines’ largest food service company and has over 3,000 restaurants worldwide.

Her decades of experience in development work has focused on corporate social responsibility, bridging leadership and social innovation. Gisela obtained her postgraduate degree from the George Washington University. She has also completed her coursework for a PhD in Leadership Studies from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. She currently serves as the President of the Association of Foundations, the largest network of foundations and NGOs in the country.

Shagun Sabarwal
Director of Policy, Training and Communications,
J-PAL South Asia

Shagun Sabarwal is Director of Policy, Training and Communications at J-PAL South Asia, and Director of the CLEAR South Asia Centre.

She leads the advancement of J-PAL South Asia’s partnerships with governments, donors, civil society organizations, and J-PAL affiliates to establish new research, disseminate policy lessons, and scale up successful social programs. She also provides strategic and technical leadership to J-PAL/CLEAR South Asia’s capacity building engagements, working closely with public, private, and social sector stakeholders to build a strong monitoring and evaluation ecosystem in South Asia. She is currently a principal investigator for research on the adaptation of the Graduation approach by governments, and on enhancing frontline health worker motivation and performance in India.

Prior to joining J-PAL, Shagun was an Evaluation Specialist with 3ie and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Population Council. Her previous work has included research on maternal and child health, adolescent health, and intimate partner violence. She completed her doctorate in public health from Harvard University.

Hidayat Amir
Director of Center for Macroeconomic Policy, Fiscal Policy Agency
Ministry of Finance Republic of Indonesia

Hidayat Amir started his career as a civil servant at the Ministry of Finance in 1995. He has a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2012 with a research topic, “Tax Policy, Growth and Income Distribution in Indonesia: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis”. Has expertise including in the fields of fiscal policy, tax policy, public policy, and economic modeling. In November 2019 he was appointed Head of the Center for Macroeconomic Policy, Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance.

Balázs Horváth
RBAP Senior Economic and Strategic Advisor on Belt and Road Initiative
UNDP Asia Pacific

Balázs Horváth took up his post as RBAP Senior Economic and Strategic Advisor on Belt and Road Initiative in October 2018. As the Strategic Advisor on Belt and Road Initiative, he led the team to work with China Development Bank drafting Report on Harmonizing Investment and Financing Standards towards Sustainable Development along the Belt and Road, and now the team is working with CCIEE on the Global Governance Report. As RBAP Economic and Strategic Advisor, he led the teams that produced publications, including The Social and Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the Asia-Pacific Region, Addressing the COVID-19 Economic Crisis in Asia through Social Protection, and Position Note on Economic Aspects of Climate Change.

Prior to this, he served as the Director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre since June 2016. From 2012 to 2016, he served as Country Director in UNDP’s South Sudan Country Office. Beforehand, he worked in the Europe and CIS Regional Center of UNDP as Poverty Reduction Practice Leader, then as Acting Director. This followed 18 years in various positions in the International Monetary Fund. He has dealt with diverse aspects of economic policies and complex development situations, including poverty and inequality reduction, social programmes, global climate change, good governance and rule of law. He is an experienced leader with a strong analytical economic and development background and has a compelling record in management. He was the lead author of flagship publications on Human Development, and on Sustainable Development.

Balázs is Hungarian, speaks English, Russian and German, and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Other Events

You might also be interested in

09 September 2024

Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum 2024

07 August 2024

Orange Bond Verification Training Program

26 July 2024

AVPN Impact Investing Fellowship 2024

AVPN Event