Digital payments have been used by governments throughout the globe to assist millions of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, distributing aid quickly and with minimal personal contact. Yet methods and results have varied across countries, providing important lessons for policymakers.

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Responding to crisis with digital payments for social protection: Short-term measures with long-term benefits

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.

COVID-19 Response Underlines the Need for Portable Social Protection Programs

Coping with COVID-19 in Uganda

G2P Payment Arrangements in Egypt and COVID-19

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

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The Impacts of the Ingreso Solidario program to confront the Covid-19 crisis in Colombia

  • Anit Mukherjee
  • cash transfer

Colombia's Ingreso Solidario COVID-19 cash transfer program increased eligible households’ probability of maintaining an income source during the pandemic and did not disincentivize labor market participation.

Towards Shock-Responsive Social Protection: Lessons from the COVID-19 Response in Kenya

  • Maintains

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused countries throughout the world to adapt their social protection systems to a radically new environment. This Maintains report uses literature reviews and informant interviews to document the social protection response in Kenya, evaluating it in terms of its adequacy, coverage, and comprehensiveness. As of its writing, the government of Kenya was expected to deliver social protection to over 700,000 households as part of...

National Cash Transfer Responses to Covid-19

  • Christina Lowe, Anna McCord, Rodolfo Beazley

The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the delivery of social protection payments, while at the same time necessitating their use at unprecedented scale. Lowe, McCord, and Beazley analyze optimal approaches to distributing and expanding G2P transfers in 2020 by combining literature review with case studies of Nigeria, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Togo. Their findings highlight the importance of comprehensive ID systems, digital and financial inclusion, existing systems, and...

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.

Delivering Social Assistance during COVID with a “Digital-First” Approach: Lessons from India

  • Alan Gelb, Anit Mukherjee and Brian Webster

India offers lessons on the interaction of “real” and “digital” relief programs during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns when digital mechanisms have played a vital role in the delivery of social assistance benefits.

G2P Payment Arrangements in Egypt and COVID-19

  • G2Px, World Bank Group

"The government introduced several measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, directed to (i) expanding coverage and/or increased benefit of cash transfer programs, (ii) modernizing delivery mechanisms, and (iii) alleviating certain restrictions on digital transactions...Other relief measures include exceptional wage and pension increases (of 14% starting next fiscal year), revised tax exemption thresholds, and increased minimum wage."


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