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.
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
"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."