South Asia

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Can Digital G2P Transfers Drive Financial Inclusion and Digital Payments? Evidence from India

  • Alan Gelb, Anit Mukherjee, Brian Webster

Does channeling government-to-person (G2P) payments through bank accounts encourage financial inclusion and use? This paper explores the factors that have driven the adoption of digital payments in India by beneficiaries of PMGKY, the large-scale COVID-19 relief program launched in May 2020. India’s 2013 move to pay social benefits through direct transfers into bank accounts significantly increased account ownership, but uptake of digital payments has been slower, although it has accelerated...

South Asia’s Digital Opportunity: Accelerating Growth, Transforming Lives

  • World Bank Group

The report presents both the opportunities of and the bottlenecks for furthering the digitization of South Asia’s economies. It emphasizes the importance of integrating digital ID, payments, and data sharing systems into “digital stacks,” as well as fostering digital businesses and skills. Within this broader framework, the report discusses the experiences of regional governments with digital g2p payments.

Digitalization of Social Protection Systems Policy in Indonesia as a Step Towards Society 5.0

  • Muhammad Aditya Purnomo

This paper discusses efforts to digitize Indonesia’s social protection systems in the context of Japan’s Society 5.0 initiative. It summarizes the trajectory of database development and use in Indonesia, as well as the country’s 2017 mandate that all government benefits be distributed in a cashless manner.

Digital Cash Transfers in LAO PDR

  • Sara Pavanello

The use of cash as a modality for delivering humanitarian and social protection assistance in Lao PDR is nascent. Up until recently, cash in hand has been the only feasible way to deliver transfers to targeted recipients. This scoping exercise highlights how mobile money could redress some of the drawbacks linked to cash in hand for both cash actors and beneficiaries. These include: access constraints, lack of traceability, and the...

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 Asia and the Pacific

  • Brian Webster

This report summarizes a 2021 workshop hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Asian Development Bank on the experience of Asian and Pacific countries in using digitized social protection in response to COVID-19. It includes discussions of mass digital registration, interoperable data systems, and the use of earth observation data in early warning. The report concludes by emphasizing the potential for enhancing the value...

Social Assistance and Information in the Initial Phase of the COVID-19 Crisis: Lessons from a Household Survey in India

  • Alan Gelb , Anurodh Giri , Anit Mukherjee , Kritika Shukla , Mitul Thapliyal and Brian Webster
  • covid-19

The COVID-19 lockdown provides a test of whether these investments in digital infrastructure would pay off and help the government deliver relief quickly, efficiently and equitably.


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