Government-to-person (G2P) payments have never been more important, as governments worldwide seek for ways to respond to the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge of making these massive payouts to the poor and informal sector workers is highlighting the differences between the G2P payment ecosystems across countries.
Our message to countries is simple: Use what you have now to scale up quickly and build on your strengths to build back better systems. While every case is different, it is useful to compare countries at a similar stage of development and with a shared history. Together, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh constitute over one fifth of the world’s population and almost half of the global poor. This blog offers an initial view on the ways in which the JAM is being used to scale up support.
How has this move from cash to digital affected beneficiaries of Bangladesh’s primary education stipend? We conducted a field survey using both a quantitative questionnaire and qualitative assessments, with separate modules for school headmasters and mothers with children enrolled in the program. The objective of the survey was to understand the perception and experience of the disbursement of PESP through mobile financial services.
The COVID-19 response amounts to a significant expansion in the scale and scope of direct cash transfers as well as other social assistance—a huge increase in government-to-people (G2P) payments. As we explain in our new report, delivering on these programs will require an enormous increase in the capacity of states to implement them.