BELGIUM, JUNE 2017. The EU-SPS team hosted a debate on the Future of Social Protection at the European Development Days in collaboration with the Overseas Development Institute. While social protection has gained considerable traction over the past decade as a means to reduce poverty and accelerate human development, there are a number of challenges confronting the expansion of social protection, as well as the process of system building. The debate focused in particular on Africa and discussed how social protection systems there are likely to evolve in the coming decades. Among the challenges that loom large are climate change and the effect it will have on poverty and vulnerability, economies and labour markets that remain largely informal, demographic pressures which require ever more jobs to be created, and the perennial question of sustainable financing. The panel had two objectives: to think ahead to identify the key challenges, and to discuss what we can be done today, in the process of system-building, to put social protection on a sustainable, long-term footing. A podcast of the session is available here.