This webinar formed part of the ISPA Tools Webinar Series hosted by socialprotection.org. The focus of this webinar, which was presented by Veronika Wodsak with assistance from Luz Stella Rodriguez, was to introduce the role of the tools in performing diagnostics of national social protection systems. The webinar, which was held at 10am Geneva time on 9th March 2017, included a presentation by Veronika, followed by a detailed question and answer session with inputs from both speakers.
Veronika Wodsak (ISPA Coordination Team ILO, Geneva) opened the webinar with a brief overview of the series, and an introduction to the ISPA tools. Her presentation focused particularly on the application process. The ISPA tools, Veronika explained, are a set of instruments designed to assess different aspects of social protection. They are able to analyse the performance of SP systems, programmes and delivery mechanisms. They aim to highlight strengths and weakness of social protection, and how it can be improved. Veronika moved on to exhibit the tools currently available, and those currently under construction, for analysing social protection systems, programmes and delivery mechanisms. These tools all include four main components: a ‘what matters’ guidance note; a questionnaire; an assessment matrix; and a final country report. All tools are online and free, but as Veronika explained, are designed to be used by SP experts and related stakeholders.
Why use the ISPA tools? Veronika presented three core reasons why the ISPA tools provide important assistance to countries seeking to perform diagnostics of their social protection systems. Firstly, all of the tools come from a systems approach. This means that they look at the whole context of social protection, placing each programme or delivery mechanism in the overall context. This is crucial, as one key objective of the ISPA tools is to ensure the building of coherent social protection systems, which fit into the overall national development framework. The second reason for using ISPA tools is that they provide a strong evidence base. Through the application of a carefully designed questionnaire, and subsequent final report, the tools provide important evidence and analysis. Thirdly, the strong emphasis placed on coherence and coordination means that the ISPA tools help different sectors and partners to work together. This allows for the improvement of social protection systems.
Veronika proceeded to detail the application process, which is comprised of six main steps: the preparatory phase; getting started; the launch of the assessment; data collection; assessment; and the finalization of the report. She in particular noted the role of specific context in influencing these phases, especially the time and resources available. She emphasised the importance of establishing country context, cooperation and stakeholder participation.
Concluding her presentation, Veronika opened the floor for questions from the audience. This included moderation and comments from Luz Stella Rodriguez (Social Protection Specialist, ISPA Group Coordinator, World Bank, Washington). The questions posed by the audience were varied, covering the application process and use of the tools. In particular the discussion highlighted the role of the ISPA tools as a monitoring tool, rather than an impact assessment tool, with the ability to focus on a variety of issues, each tool having its only particular questionnaire and matrix. Specific focuses for further attention suggested by the audience included gender, and environmental and/or climate adaptation. The question and answer session reiterated that the ISPA tools depend heavily on the data that is readily available within the country in order to produce the questionnaire, matrix and final report. This includes cost-benefit analysis. Veronika and Luz responded to a number of questions detailing the support provided by the ISPA team, which includes the translation of various tools into other languages, e-learning programmes and guidance, and the accessibility of reports online. Veronika and Luz strongly encouraged participants to contact the ISPA team with their further questions and interests.
The webinar concluded thanking the audience, and directing them to socialprotection.org where they can follow previous webinars from the ISPA Tools Webinar Series for more information.
For more information on ISPA Tools, please access: http://ispatools.org/
Watch the recording of the webinar here!
This blog post is part of the ISPA Tool Series, which brings together the summaries of webinars organised by ISPA on the topic. Please join the Social Protection Payment Delivery Online Community if you are interested in following the most recent discussions on the topic. If you have any thoughts on this webinar summary, we would love to hear from you. Please add your comments below!