GDN 14th Annual Global Development Conference on Inequality, Social Protection and Inclusive Growth.
Kabubo-Mariara, Jane w.
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Issues related to social protection are becoming very crucial in the aftermath of the global financial crisis but also in vie w of growing inequality in the developing world (although recent trends and experience on inequality vary substantially among regions and countries). Indeed, there is a growing consciousness of the benefits of social protection as a measure to protect peop le from becoming trapped in poverty, to empower them to seize opportunities, to help workers to adjust to changes and to deal with unemployment and thus support productivity. Therefore, the importance of social policies and social protection systems that a ddress and reduce inequality and social exclusion for long - term sustainable and inclusive growth should be taken into consideration in development policy. Social protection can also support the achievement of poverty reduction, rising the income in the sho rt run, allowing people to build their assets (such in the case of the Brazilian Bolsa Familia Program and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of conditional cash transfers in the Philippines ) and therefore accelerating growth, with positive spillovers at the community level (such in the case of the Mexican PROGRESA/Oportunidades Program). Promoting inclusive growth via social protection policies can also help on the political stability front in developing countries. Yet, we need to know more about the mechanisms and the channels through which social protection and social policy more general affect the most vulnerable in the developing world (and beyond). Furthermore, social protection policies are absolutely essential in countries suffering from “struct ural economic vulnerability”. Finally, conceptual as well as measurement issues regarding inequality and inclusive growth require further attention and a fresh look in order to delve deeper into these issues and go beyond mainstream approaches in defining the various forms of inequality and inclusive growth (and thus the need to adopt multidisciplinary approaches on that front). Since its inception in 1999, GDN has organized conferences in almost every region of the world. GDN conferences are also unique, not just in sheer numbers of people who attend, but also in the range of issues they discuss and the regions they represent. Another important feature of GDN conferences is that they provide promising young researchers from developing countries with an opp ortunity to showcase their research in an international forum and benefit from interaction with world renowned academics and policymakers. This has important positive implications for capacity building, a central element of the GDN mission.