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Workshop on Social Protection

The workshop is organised by the University of Luxembourg in collaboration with Addis Ababa University and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) as part of the EU-AFD Research Facility in Inequalities, funded by the European Union. Its main objective is to enhance the knowledge and understanding of how social protection affects economic and social inequalities, their drivers and underlying factors. We wish to bring together likeminded researchers and stakeholders for an in-depth discussion of the impact of social policies in general and social-protection schemes in particular on individual and social well-being.


Call for Paper




Location and Time:

The workshop will take place on the 21st of February 2020 in Addis Ababa at the premises of Addis Ababa University.


Important Dates:

Abstract submission deadline                         2 December 2019

Decisions will be communicated by                 16 December 2019


Organising Committee:

Conchita D’Ambrosio (University of Luxembourg)

Liyousew G. Borga (University of Luxembourg)

Cecilia Poggi (AFD)

Sewale Abate (Addis Ababa University)


Submission Information:

Interested participants can submit an extended abstract to with subject line ‘Call for Papers DISP’.


The closing date for submission is 2 December 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 16 December 2019. We will post the final program shortly thereafter.


There is no submission or registration fee for the conference. Nevertheless, for planning purposes, registration is required. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Participants are required to take care of their travel and accommodation expenses.



The reduction of household income inequality is set as a goal in the international agenda. Uncovering the broad spectrum of inequalities and understanding their drivers, consequences and how they are affected, positively or negatively, by public policies is of paramount importance. Social-protection schemes have become a popular form of government intervention in developing countries. There is a renewed emphasis on these programs within the international-development community, as they are seen as a tool to combat the adverse impacts of natural and economic crises. However, the empirical evidence on the effectiveness of these programs remains mixed. There still remains a wealth of interest from policy makers, donors, and researchers about the distributional incidence of these programs, their medium and long run effects, the role they play in affecting the reallocation of intra-household resources, and their impact on horizontal and spatial inequalities.


Cognisant of this need, the European Commission (EC) setup a fund through the Research Facility on Inequalities under the Development Cooperation Instrument that is implemented (and co-financed) by the French Agency for Development (AFD). The main objective of the Research Facility is to conduct original global and thematic research on the drivers and dynamics of economic and social inequalities in low- and middle-income countries, and most successful policy responses to address them. The research projects under this facility take a cross-country or regional approach in order to highlight a diversity of experiences and lessons learnt with regards to the dynamics of inequalities and how they are impacted by public policies.


Researchers at the University of Luxembourg in collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD) and through funding from the European Commission under the Development Cooperation Instrument, are conducting a study to understand the distributional impact of social protection programs in reducing short- and longer-run inequalities. In particular, the research team investigates the distributional impact of three large-scale social-protection schemes - the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) in Ethiopia, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) in India, and the Juntos conditional cash-transfer program in Peru.



In this workshop, preliminary results from the Research Facility and the works of other researchers in the related field of study will be presented and discussed.


The following main topics will take centre stage at the workshop among other related issues:

  • Assessing the various designs, forms and sizes of social-protection programs and their role in addressing the underlying market failures that led to poverty and vulnerability;
  • Assessing the distributional incidence of social protection programs;
  • Assessing the effects of social protection programs in reducing horizontal and spatial inequalities;
  • Assessing the effects of social protection programs and social policies in general on social relations and household behaviour, and individual wellbeing.


At the conclusion of this workshop, it is anticipated that the participants will gain:

  • an enhanced understanding of the challenges posed by poverty and inequality and the rationales for governments to engage in redistributive activities;
  • a better knowledge of the challenges of policy and program evaluation and the state-of-the-art methods used in causally measuring impact;
  • a better picture of how the trends and dynamics of poverty and inequality are similar or different across different countries and how one can utilize this to help with policy targeting.




In order to optimize interaction between participants and facilitate fruitful exchanges during the workshop, the proposed format of the workshop is as follows:


(i)             Keynote address: There will be two keynote addresses at the workshop:

  1. Prof. Tassew Woldehanna, President of AAU, will give a keynote address on social protection and its impact on poverty and inequality emphasizing the Ethiopian context.
  2. Prof. Andrew Clark, CNRS and Paris School of Economics, will give a keynote address on the role of social policies to improve individual wellbeing. 

(ii)            Plenary presentations: Researchers will present the results of their work during these sessions.

(iii)           Discussions: Discussions and exchanges with fellow presenters and the general audience will follow the presentations to give feedback and suggestions to presenters for improvement and enrichment of the presented work.


Tentative schedule:




08:30 -- 09:00


09:00 -- 09:15

Welcome address and opening speech

09:15 -- 10:10

Keynote speech

10:00 -- 10:30

Coffee Break

10:30 -- 12:00

Plenary Sessions

12:00 -- 13:00


13:00 – 13:45

Keynote speech

13:45 -- 15:15

Plenary Sessions

15:15 -- 15:45

Coffee Break

15:45 -- 17:15

Plenary Sessions