After focusing on the microeconomic dimensions of social policies in the first roundtable, the second one examined social policies from a macroeconomic perspective. The latter went very well and the discussion was very rich. We had around 20 participants from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Solidarity, World Bank, IFPRI, professors, researchers and NGOs.
Mona Ezzat, Researcher, The New Woman Foundation © Ezz Photography
In the first session, Yomna Khattab from the Ministry of Finance presented the main features of Egypt’s fiscal policy that are related to social protection then Mona Ezzat from the New Woman Foundation presented the nexus between the informal sector and social policies from a gender lens.
In the second session, we discussed several points as follows: first, how the Ministry of Finance can sustain its social spending without adding further pressure on its budget.
Yomna Khattab, Adviser, Ministry of Finance © Ezz Photography
Second, to what extent, in the decision-making process, different ministries (especially Ministry of Social Solidarity and Ministry of Finance) coordinate to maximize the outreach of social programs (such as Takaful and Karama) subject to the constraints faced by the Ministry of Finance.
Finally, to what extent gender is mainstreamed in the design of these macroeconomic and social policies since.
Alex Lambert, Deputy Director, British Council Egypt © Ezz Photography
All the participants agreed that we must have more frequent meetings to continue our discussions and we agreed that the third roundtable will take place during the second or third week of September.
Report by Chahir Zaki, Associate Professor of Economics at Cairo University