Southeast Asia

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Digitalization and Social Protection: Macro and Micro Lessons for Vietnam

  • Amr Hosny and Alexandre Sollaci

The COVID-19 shock has underscored the importance of digital tools for enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of social protection systems. Cross-country evidence suggests that digital IDs linked with bank and/or mobile money accounts can improve the delivery of social protection programs and better reach eligible beneficiaries. Using data from the Vietnam Household Living Standard Survey, we present micro simulations on the welfare gains of digital social protection during the pandemic....

Using Social Protection to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Indonesia

  • Madhumitha Hebbar, Sinta Satriana, Jonathan Ammoun

This case study synthesizes the social protection response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia in 2020. It is part of six country case studies developed as part of the Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19 Expert Advice Helpline’s (SPACE) learning and documentation approach. By capturing country-level social protection responses to COVID-19, the case studies aim to inform the global audiences as to what has happened, what has...

Social Protection Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Pacific: A Tipping Point for the Sector?

  • Rodolfo Beazley, Hilary Gorman, Sinta Satriana, Juliet Attenborough

This paper produced by SPACE examines the social protection response to COVID-19 in the Pacific region, where such systems are emergent. It assesses how individual countries responded to the pandemic, and draws operational lessons. The Authors pay particular attention to Fiji’s experience, where the use of mobile money was prominent.

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...

Will the Pandemic Exacerbate or Mitigate the Digital Gender Gap?

  • Parul Tandon and Sonal Jaitly

COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on women must be urgently addressed through the provision of digital financial literacy and access.

Enabling the community to overcome the pandemic through digital payments

  • Truong Quyen and Akshat Pathak

During the pandemic, Duong Thi Thuy, a mobile money agent in the Quang Ninh province, improvised her business to help her community follow the guidelines on social distancing and government norms. This is her story about the adoption of DFS and how it changed her life.


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