Latin America and the Caribbean

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Social protection response to COVID-19 in rural LAC: The potential of digitalisation to build back better

  • Beatriz Burattini, Camila Rolon, Lucas Sato, Victor Thives, Louisa Wagner

This policy research brief analyses how digitalisation can facilitate rural populations’ access to effective and adequate social protection and economic inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. It investigates the region’s social protection response to COVID-19 and highlights three good practices in providing digitalised social protection to vulnerable rural populations during the crisis. Based on this analysis and considering the local obstacles to digitalised social protection in rural areas, recommendations...

Adaptive But Not By Design: Cash Transfers in Latin America and the Caribbean Before, During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Marco Stampini, Pablo Ibarrarán, Carolina Rivas, Marcos Robles

The COVID-19 crisis revealed that income support systems in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region were both fundamental and insufficient. This paper by the Inter-American Development Bank presents novel estimates of the coverage and beneficiary distribution of all non-contributory cash transfers both before and during the COVID-19 crisis. It also discusses the tools and methods used by individual countries in their response, placing digital G2P initiatives within a larger...

Social Assistance During the Pandemic: Lessons from Paraguay

  • Matilde Bordón, Carmen Marín, Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza, Luis Recalde-Ramírez

This World Bank blog post outlines Paraguay’s Pytyvõ program, which reached a considerable number of the country’s households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paraguay achieved this despite lacking a comprehensive social registry at the onset of the crisis, and relied heavily on electronic wallets to distribute benefits.

Towards a Shared Understanding of Digital Social Protection: What are the Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis and the Implications for the Future? Report from a Regional Workshop in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Brian Webster

This report summarizes a 2021 workshop hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean on the experience of Latin American countries in using digitized social protection in response to COVID-19. It includes discussions of quickly updating existing records and developing interoperable data systems. The report concludes by emphasizing the need for having different channels for updating information...

Maximizing Government Cost Savings: Indicators for Calculating Cost Savings from Centralizing and Digitizing Payments

  • Brian Webster

To provide an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and foster an appropriate environment for economic recovery, LAC governments need to reach a holistic, up-to-date understanding of the resources available to them. Adopting a treasury single account (TSA) and digitizing revenue collection may help achieve these objectives.This study shows that improving treasury management in LAC by implementing TSAs and digitizing revenue collection and payments could generate potential annual savings of...

Responses to the financial impacts of COVID-19 through social cash transfers and digital payment infrastructure

  • Caroline Pulver

The financial impact of COVID-19 has been hitting the poor. Governments are adjusting cash transfer programs and utilizing national payment systems to mitigate these negative impacts. This blog reviews responses from Latin America, Asia and Sub Saharan Africa where governments with limited resources are coming up with innovative solutions to the crisis.


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