Health and Social Protection Action Research & Knowledge Sharing Network (SPARKS) Conference 2020

Bridging the SDGs to Optimise Health-related Social protection

Virtual Conference

2-3 December 2020


  • To review the interlinkage between health-related social protection and universal health coverage (UHC), examine health-related social protection in the SDGs, and explore ways for stronger intersectoral action.
  • To share the experiences and results from the first four years of SPARKS and other similar research to identify lessons learned for broader work on health-related social protection and opportunities for scaling-up.
  • To share country experiences of implementing and scaling up integrated action on social protection and UHC and identify lessons learned. 

DAY 1: 02 December – Virtual Session

Time (CET) Session Speaker

Session 1: Welcome and Opening

14:00 -14:10

Welcome by Chairs: Delia Boccia, Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SPARKS Secretariat

Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the Global TB Programme, WHO

14.10- 14.30 Opening statements: The need to strengthen social protection, within and beyond universal health coverage, and the role for research Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Ghana 

Phumeza Tisile, TBPROOF Advocacy Officer and XDR-TB Survivor, South Africa 

Ren Minghui,  Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage, Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO)

Valérie Schmitt, Deputy Director of the Social Protection Department, the International Labor Organization (ILO)

14.30- 14.50 Health-related social protection: Overview, examples, research themes and conference objectives Knut Lönnroth, Professor, Karolinska Institutet, SPARKS Secretariat
14.50- 14.55 Session conclusions by Chairs  
14.55- 15:00 Stretch session

Session 2: Health-related social protection in the SDGs

Chairs:  Diana Weil, Sr Adviser, Strategic Action for Small Island Developing States, WHO

David Chipanta, Sr Advisor for Social Protection,UNAIDS

15.00– 15.10 Session introduction by Chairs 

Vinayak Bhardwaj, Regional Migration Advisor for Southern African, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

15.10- 15.25 2.1 SDG3: UHC through Social health protection: achievements and gaps Joseph Kutzin, Unit Head, Health Financing, WHO
15.25- 15.40 2.2 SDG1: Income security along the life cycle and its relevance in times of ill health Christina Behrendt, Head of Social Policy, Social Protection Department, ILO
15.40- 15.50 Break 
15.50- 16.10 2.3 SDG2: Social protection, food security, and nutrition 

The impact of achieving SDG2 on TB and HIV – Implications for World Food Programme’s operations

Essa Chanie Mussa, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Gondar

Allison Oman Lawi, Deputy Director of Nutrition, World Food Programme

16.10-16.25 2.4 SDG8Social health protection as part of Decent Work Noel Binag, Executive Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Center, Department of Labor and Employment, Philippines
16.25- 16:40 2.5 Social Protection as a driver for the SDGs: Pakistan’s Actions Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Pakistan
16.40- 16.55 2.6 Q&A: How to operationalize intersectoral action? Panelists and Chairs
16.55- 17:00 Closing Chairs

DAY 2: 03 December – Virtual Session

Turbo Talks

Chair: Delia Boccia, Assistant Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SPARKS Secretariat  

13.30- 13.35 Referral Systems between Health Care Services and Social Protection Services in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A scoping review. Salla Atkins, Tampere University
13.35-13.40 Evaluating cost-effective combinations of social protection using observational data: A methodological framework and appraisal of assumptions William Rudgard, University of Oxford
13.40-13.45 The burden of TB and access to social protection for TB patients in South Africa. A qualitative study Lieve Vanleeuw, South African Medical Research Council
13.45-13.50 Economic recovery following treatment for pulmonary TB – results from a multi-country observational cohort study in sub-Saharan Africa Denise Evans, Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office of the University of the Witwatersrand.
13.50-13.55 Effects of a ‘cash plus’ adolescent-focused health and livelihood intervention on mental health: evidence from a cluster-randomized control trial Leah Prencipe, Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam 
13.55-14.00 The disability-differential impact of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program on acute illness among children Hannah Silverstein, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 Session 3: Evidence on the need for social protection in times of ill health

Chairs: Corinne Merle, Scientist, Special Programme for Research and Training on Tropical Diseases (TDR)

Debora Pedrazzoli, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SPARKS Secretariat

Mauro Sanchez, Associate Professor, Federal University of Brasilia, Brazil

14.00- 14.10 Setting the stage for Day 2 Delia Boccia, Associate Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, SPARKS Secretariat

Fatima Karmadwala, XDR-TB Survivor and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Student

14.10- 14.25 3.1   Social Protection Programmes: economic strengthening and pathways to improved health Tia Palermo, Associate Professor, University at Buffalo

Clement Adamba, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research(ISSER), University of Ghana – Legon

14.25- 14.40 3.2   Towards zero catastrophic costs due to TB: using national TB patient cost surveys to advance social protection and care Nobu Nishikiori, Global TB Programme, World Health Organization
14.40- 14.55 3.3   Social protection interventions to mitigate catastrophic costs and improve TB outcomes of TB-affected households Tom Wingfield, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK
14.55- 15.00 Stretch session
15.00- 15.15 3.4 The role of sickness benefits during pandemics: lessons from Covid-19 Marielle Phe Goursat, Chief Technical Adviser, ILO
15.15- 15.50 3.5 Panel All presenters from Session 3
15.50- 16.05 Stretch session

Session 4: Implementation challenges and opportunities

Chairs: Lou Tessier, Health Protection Specialist, Social Protection Department, ILO Geneva

Priya Shete, Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco, USA

16.05 16.10 Session introduction by Chairs 
16.10- 16.30 4.1 Country experiences of linking health and social sectors for improved social protection in times of ill health Natalia Winder Rossi, Associate Director, Social Policy, UNICEF

Htet Nay Lin Oo, Focal Point for P4H, Myanmar

16.30- 16.45 Facilitated Q&A session All presenters from Session 4
16.45- 16.50 Stretch session: Live Musical Performance by Nazeem, Singer-Songwriter, Gambia
16.50- 17.10
4.1 Country experiences of linking health and social sectors for improved social protection in times of ill health Con’t Assoumane Mainassara, Director of Prospective at the Ministry of Planning, Niger

Gunnel Hensing, Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

17.10-17.40 Facilitated Q&A session and wrap up Session 4 chairs and Gunnel Hensing
17.45- 18.00 Closing John Reeder, Director of TDR and Director, Department of Research for Health, WHO

Knut Lönnroth, Professor, KI and SPARKS Secretariat

Updated by:

Webmaster 2020-12-04