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Thursday October 28, 2021

‘Better data collection, registration can enhance social safety impact’

October 14, 2021

Islamabad : Better data collection and registration of vulnerable populations can play a vital role in enhancing the overall impact of social safety and protection networks, which can be made successful through civil society organisations.

This was the crux of a webinar on ‘Aggregating the evidence: shock-responsive social protection delivery mechanism in Pakistan’ organised here by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Executive Director of Akhuwat, Dr. Amjad Saqib, who chaired the session, said that reaching out to the population living below the poverty line is too daunting a challenge that needs collective efforts of the government, civil society, and corporate sector.

Covid-19 badly hit every sector of the economy, so there is a dire need to help the vulnerable segments of the society so that they might absorb the economic shocks, he maintained.

SDPI Executive Director Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that the consolidation of social safety networks was a step towards the right direction by the government, which helped in containing the overlapping roles of these networks.

Registration plays a paramount role in social protection therefore, National Social Economic Registry (NSER) helps in the smooth implementation of target subsidies to vulnerable populations” Dr. Suleri said adding that civil society could assist the government to build the capacity for its various bodies in data collection.

Samia Liaqat Ali Khan, Group Head, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), briefed the participants about various interventions, including Ehsaas Cash Grants implemented by PPAF as Covid-19 relief activity by PPAF. She said that the assets provided to the vulnerable populations after the pandemic helped them in diversifying their income.

Beenish Fatimah Sahi, Chief Executive Officer, Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA), was of the view that Covid -19 exposed weaknesses of our strategies for social protection. We need to come up with shock responsive strategies to help the vulnerable population, she added.