SPACE - Guidance for framing case studies on social protection responses to covid-19 (September 2020)

Manual and Guideline
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1 OVERVIEW The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the important role of social protection approaches in response to large covariate shocks. There is a lot to be learned from countries’ collective experience, including documenting what has happened to date and what this implies for the future. Even before more structured impact and process evaluations are taking place, academics, researchers and practitioners have started the process of ‘Case Study documentation’. The learning that this brings will be maximised if such case studies are carried out comprehensively and comparably. Otherwise, there is a real risk that information generated could overwhelm potential users, get lost, and ultimately be ineffective at contributing to learning.
This document offers guidance on how to ensure that information is documented systematically and with a particular focus on the COVID-19 response. It suggests a structure of the key areas and dimensions to consider, and detailed questions to answer under each heading. This template can also help in drawing up terms of reference for future evaluations of social protection responses to COVID-19. This is in order to ensure future learning will:

• be the most useful collective public good possible for policy-makers, practitioners and other researchers.

• be comparable, thorough, and easily accessible, informing further meta-research and systematic insights in the future.

• build on prior country evidence/research/documentation to the extent possible.

This document was developed collaboratively by the Social Protection Approaches to COVID19: Expert advice helpline (SPACE) expert team, comprising over 25 experts with many years’ experience working in a variety of capacities on shock responsive social protection and linkages with humanitarian response. It specifically builds on:

• The SPACE framing documents: the Strategy Decision Matrix and Evaluating Delivery Systems Matrix
• The MAINTAINS COVID-19 and Social Protection responses research framing
• The IPC database framing (supported by SPACE) and the Global Social Protection COVID-19 response paper (Gentilini et al, 2020)
• Emerging country Case Studies and regional overviews documenting COVID-19 social protection responses e.g. by G2PX, IPC-IG, the Grand Bargain sub-group on linking Social Protection and Humanitarian Cash Transfers and the ILO
• Our past work as researchers writing/reviewing similar case studies