COVID-19

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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Country Studies

Protecting the Poor and Vulnerable against the Pandemic

This report from the Asian Development Bank details the Philippines’ social protection response to COVID-19. It explores the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s efforts to distribute payments, the challenges it encountered, and the role of digital technologies in overcoming them.

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

G2P Payment Arrangements in Egypt and COVID-19

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

Women’s Access to Cash Transfers in Light of COVID-19: The Case of Pakistan

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The Use of Cash Assistance in the Covid-19 Humanitarian Response: Accelerating Trends and Missed Opportunities

  • Julie Lawson-McDowall, Ruth McCormack, Sophie Tholstrup

This paper, developed with inputs from across the CALP Network, explores how cash and voucher assistance has been scaled up or adjusted in response to Covid-19, and how it is changing ways of working. It includes discussions of the increased digitization of humanitarian CVA, with particular focus on KYC and communications.

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 Africa

  • Brian Webster

This report summarizes a 2021 workshop hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the African Union, and the World Bank on the experience of African countries in using digitized social protection in response to COVID-19. It includes discussions of using existing social protection information to expand coverage and the development of interoperable data systems. The report concludes by emphasizing the need for systems to be designed...

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...

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...

Evaluation of FCDO’s COVID-19 Cash Transfer in Kenya, Research Summary

  • Michele Binci, Alexandra Doyle, Clare Gardner, Martina Garcia Aisa, Shafique Arif, Lucy Scott, Fred Merttens

This report summarizes an Oxford Policy Management evaluation of a digital cash transfer administered in Kenya under the Hunger Safety Net Program beginning in October of 2020. Using survey data, the study probed the effectiveness of remote targeting, text message communication, mobile payments through M-PESA, and complaint resolution. Their findings stress the need for prior preparation in using social protection to respond to shocks.

Volume 1: Evaluation of FCDO’s COVID-19 Cash Transfer in Kenya

  • Michele Binci, Alexandra Doyle, Clare Gardner, Martina Garcia Aisa, Shafique Arif, Lucy Scott, Fred Merttens

This report provides a comprehensive evaluation of a digital cash transfer administered in Kenya under the Hunger Safety Net Program beginning in October of 2020. Using survey data, Oxford Policy Management probed the effectiveness of remote targeting, text message communication, mobile payments through M-PESA, and complaint resolution. Their findings stress the need for prior preparation in using social protection to respond to shocks.

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