September, 9th 2021

Online conference “Addressing food insecurity in Africa: strategies for ensuring child-sensitive social protection”

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Date 9 September, 8 am -12.00 am, EST (New York Time)

ICSW in cooperation with IASSW, UNICEF, IFAD, KNCSW and UNED 


Purpose of the conference

Recognized as a multifaceted challenge, food security is high on the political and socio-economic agendas of many countries. The conference seeks to explore a wealth of issues on child-sensitive social protection in the context of efforts aimed at fighting food insecurity in Africa and at highlighting different national perspectives and policy responses. The effective targeting of these responses to ensure that they meet the needs of all, especially the poorest and most marginalized – and, among these groups, children in particular – remains a challenge. Child-sensitive social protection requires, among other actions, specific programme design and interventions, accessing links between poverty and malnutrition, emphasis on the gendered nature of poverty as well as on the size and frequency of cash transfers as well as non-cash and in-kind interventions and support.

Food and nutrition security are some of the key issues among the development priorities of many African countries. The existing food insecurity in Africa is a huge and complex challenge that is closely linked to the risk of malnutrition, health care, education, political stability, poverty as well as overall national development priorities and directions. Gaining a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of the challenge of food insecurity especially its complex impact on children can facilitate concerted actions and better targeting of interventions by national governments, international bodies and civil society organizations.

Addressing a range of specific issues in the context of food security and child-sensitive social protection in Africa, the conference will provide perspective on areas of particular importance, including the role of key stakeholders and their interaction. There are roughly two major sets of issues to address. First, conceptual and general issues pertinent to food insecurity in Africa, analysis of vulnerabilities, measures aimed at promoting inclusive growth, efforts aimed at strengthening cooperation with various stakeholders and strategies to improve capacity development. Second, national case studies that may illustrate changing approaches to the above issues, various dimensions of the existing situation and national best practices.

The projected outcome could bring an improved understanding of the whole spectrum of policy issues and trade-offs in the context of food security and child –sensitive social protection in Africa and could be used by ICSW and partners in their advocacy and policy advice.

Dates and places
September, 9th 2021

Preliminary programme Welcome remarks: Dr Suh Sang-Mok, ICSW President 
  • Dr Alejandro Grinspun, Chief of Social Protection Unit, FAO (TBC)
Session 1.  Food insecurity in Africa and vulnerability of children: scope of the challenge Key-note statement
  • Prof Michael Samson
Director of Research at Economic Policy Research Institute and Williams College, City of Cape Town, (South Africa)- (30 minutes) Presenters: Prof. Shirley Gatenio Gable, Fordham University and IASSW (United States).
  •  “Reducing vulnerabilities, promoting resilience”, (15 min)
Dr Driss Guerraoui (Morocco) 
  • \"L\'avenir de l\'agriculture et de la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique. Réalités, défis et perspectives\". (The future of agriculture and food security in Africa. Realities, challenges and perspectives) (15 min)
 Q&A, interactive discussionModerator: Prof PK Shajahan, Tata Institute, India Intermission 5 minutes   
Session 2. Ways and means to address food insecurity and promote child-sensitive social protection in Africa Presenters: Dr Enrique Delamonica, (Argentina), Senior Adviser, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning & Monitoring, UNICEF -15 min
  • School feeding programs in Africa: lessons learned
Dr Julie Newton, (UK), Senior Researcher, The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the Netherlands- 15 min
  • The value of a gender lens to child and nutrition sensitive social protection: new opportunities through food system approaches
Dr Patience Stephens, Independent consultant on social policy, (Ghana) 15 min (TBC)
  • The nexus of food security and child-sensitive social protection in West Africa
 Q&A, Interactive discussion Moderator-- Prof Antonio López Peláez, ICSW Executive Director  

Session 3. Moving forward on social protection front:  strengthening integrated approach Presenters: Dr Christina Behrendt, Head of the Social Policy Unit, Social Protection Department, ILO (TBC)- 15 minDr Sergei Zelenev, ICSW Special Representative to the UN in New York- 15 min
  • Building partnerships for social protection: post-COVID and beyond
Dr Isabel Ortiz, (Spain), Director of the Center of Social Justice at Columbia University (TBC)- 15 min
  • The quest for universal social protection and social justice
 Q&A, Interactive discussion Moderator: Representative of African Platform for Social Protection (TBC)
Live online assistance, no need to go to the center.

To enroll in the conference, click on the "Online enrollment" button located below the price table (20EUR). 

This conference is a free-fee conference for ICSW members and IASSW members.

Para matricularse en el curso, pinche sobre el botón "Matrícula online" situado debajo de la tabla de precios.

  IASSW members ICSW members Ordinary enrolment
FeeFreeFree20 €
Coordinated by
Antonio López Peláez (ICSW/UNED)
Dr. Suh Sang-Mok (ICSW)
Sergei Zelenev (ICSW)
Comité Científico
Dr. Enrique Delamonica
Senior Adviser, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning & Monitoring, (UNICEF)
Prof. Shirley Gatenio Gable
Fordham University and IASSW (United States)
Prof. PK Shajahan
Tata Institute, India
Dr Patience Stephens
Independent consultant (Ghana)
Organizing Committee
Antonio López Peláez
Catedrático de Trabajo Social y Servicios Sociales de la UNED / ICSW Executive Director
Dr. Suh Sang-Mok -  President
ICSW President
Dr. Sergei Zelenev
ICSW Special Representative to the United Nations in New York
Asesor técnico
Maria-Inés Martinez Herrero
Social Work professor at University of Essex
The duration of this virtual event will be 4 hours with brief intermissions. The meeting will use Zoom as a technical platform for presentations and for face-to-face interactions.  During the speakers’ interventions, there will be an open chat to encourage participation. All participants are welcome to participate in all sessions (or any particular session), including the interactive discussions. Experts giving a presentation are requested to send their PowerPoint presentation (if any) by email by Monday, 6 September 2021 to Ms Yunji Kwon at
 The main questions will be addressed during the interactive segment at the end of each session.
A detailed background note of the conference is attached.


Fundación UNED


Korea National Council on Social Welfare
Fundación UNED
Guzmán el Bueno, 133 - Edificio Germania, 1ª planta
28003 Madrid Madrid
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  • Fundación UNED es miembro de la Asociación Española de Fundaciones