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UNRISD Research Coordinator to Deliver Keynote Address at GTZ Symposium

15 Jun 2009



Katja Hujo, UNRISD Research Coordinator, will give a keynote speech at a social policy symposium to be held on 16 June 2009 in Eschborn, Germany.

Opening the symposium programme titled “Importance of Social Policy in the Context of the Financial Crisis”, organized by Department 43 “Health, Education and Social Protection” of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Hujo will summarize the academic debate on the impact of the financial and economic crisis (FEC) on social policies, as well as their roles in poverty alleviation.

Hujo will examine the potential impact of the crisis on core areas of social policy, i.e. health, education and social protection. She will explain mechanisms for transmission of the FEC on decisions regarding social policy as well as access to social services with country case studies.

In the meantime, by elaborating on the roles of anti-cyclical fiscal policy, health and education services, and instruments of social protection, Hujo will seek to cast an overview of how to build sustainable, long-term economic development and to reduce the impact of the crisis through these channels.

The symposium is held in the wake of the Global Monitoring Report 2009, published by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, on how core social sectors are affected by budget cuts, which pose a further risk to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Therefore, the event will address the consequences of the global downturn from the perspective of social policy. It aims to open debates between academics and policy-makers on key questions such as: how can social sectors be protected against financial cuts? Will there be potentials to mobilize resources quickly to deal with the interface between budget policy and social sectoral policies? Is there timely monitoring of the social effects of the financial crisis and adequate institutional capacity for developing and implementing policies for the short and medium term to cushion these effects?

Hujo and a few other invited experts will also provide a rich dialogue at the panel discussion. Other discussants include David Evans (Head of Health Financing Policy Unit, WHO), Olav Seim (Education for All-International Coordination Team, UNESCO), Georg Schäfer (Head of Economics and PRSP Department, GTZ) and Wolf Dio (Head of Southern Africa Department, GTZ).