At SPRI Global, we are continuously engaged in shaping and understanding the evolving landscape of social policy. Our recent participation in the Regional Social Policy Forum, held from November 28-29, 2003, in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, stands as a testament to this commitment.

Jointly organized by the Ministry of National Development Planning of Indonesia and UNICEF (East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office – EAPRO), with backing from ECHO, the Government of Canada, the World Food Programme, and the Finnish Red Cross, the forum marked a significant milestone in regional dialogue on social policy.

Dr. Chris De Neubourg, our Director and expert in social protection and policy evaluation, alongside Julia Karpati, our Senior Researcher specializing in child-sensitive social protection policy, represented SPRI Global at this important event. In support of UNICEF EAPRO, Julia Karpati prepared a background paper on child-sensitive and adaptive social protection in East Asia and Pacific for the forum’s plenary session on “Evidence, knowledge and data for strengthening child-sensitive and adaptive social protection”, laying the groundwork for a profound exploration of research on child-sensitive social policy development within Indonesia and the broader East-Asian and Pacific region.

The Forum’s ambitious agenda focused on leveraging learnings from innovative approaches and good practices in the ASEAN Member States and the wider East Asia and Pacific region. The aim was to inform policymaking, especially in strengthening social protection systems, thereby contributing to the development vision of Indonesia, the ASEAN, and other participating countries from Asia and the Pacific.

Key discussions at the Forum revolved around the development and application of data and research in social policy, with particular attention to the impact of climate change on social protection policy design and implementation. There was a consensus on the need for a renewed approach in understanding and researching the nexus between climate change emergencies and social policy. This perspective underscored the importance of child-sensitive and adaptive social protection systems.

Both Dr. De Neubourg and Julia Karpati participated actively in discussions, sharing SPRI Global’s experiences and insights on implementing effective social protection strategies, and collecting key cases and discussion points to inform future research and reviews. The Forum also fostered an opportunity for network expansion and potential future collaborations among governments, development partners, and other key stakeholders.

Participants, ranging from policymakers and government officials to development partners, program managers, and experts in various related fields, engaged in a dynamic exchange of ideas. They discussed innovative solutions and best practices for addressing complex challenges related to social protection, gender, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation in the region.

The Regional Social Policy Forum not only served as a hub for knowledge exchange but also reinforced the collective commitment of various stakeholders towards developing resilient, adaptive, and child-sensitive social protection systems. For SPRI Global, the Forum was an invaluable opportunity to contribute to and learn from the ongoing discourse in social policy research and development, reaffirming our commitment to helping shape the future of comprehensive and inclusive social protection policies globally.