On January 28, 2022, the Center for International Development (CID) hosted a virtual panel discussion on how to reimagine social welfare. This was the fourth monthly panel event on CID’s moving Beyond COVID initiative, with each month representing different key dimensions of COVID response and recovery.

The event featured Rema Hanna, Faculty Director of CID's Evidence for Policy Design and Jeffrey Chea Professor of South-East Asia Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School; Sudarno "Darno" Sumarto, Policy Adviser at National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction, Office of the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia; and Stéphane Verguet, Associate Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The lively discussion was moderated by CID Director, Asim Khwaja. 

Each expert on the panel brought a different perspective to the primary discussion on how to make up for pandemic losses and rebuild social welfare as we move beyond COVID. Professor Hanna highlighted the need for coordinated systems for delivering social services, being mindful of how the poor can be included such systems. Dr. Sumarto, drawing from his experiences in Indonesia, recognized the past two years as a period of fiscal crunch and emphasized the impact of investing greater resources in social service delivery. Professor Verguet voiced concerns about the acceleration of inequalities that have resulted from a lack of intersectoral collaboration. The panel came up with the following suggestions, among others, for how to improve social welfare: utilize a registry of citizens, refine coordination of national and local government task forces, and strengthen capacities to generate evidence.

A common thread in the panel discussion was the importance of bringing together sectors, systems, and industries to improve social welfare. Learn about how to make this possible by listening to CID’s Beyond COVID podcast, catching up on the Beyond COVID panel discussions, and reading content on the Beyond COVID homepage.  


CID Student Ambassador Author:

Nicah Santos, graduate student in the Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship Ed.M. program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education