Asian Development Bank (June 2022) The report, part of a GIZ-ADB collaboration, reviews trends in social protection and recent pandemic responses. It discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) tools can fit into the social protection delivery chain. It reviews the functioning of the delivery chain during the pandemic to identify gaps in social protection systems along with emerging solutions that draw on digital technology. The report includes four case studies and suggests steps policymakers could take to foster an enabling environment for the use of AI in social protection.
Center for Global Development (09.06.2022) 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 more recently through smartphone-based apps.
ZEF Discussion Paper (2022) This paper examines whether social protection – in the form of existing social assistance programmes – affects measures of household well-being such as poverty, food security and costly risk-coping behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using primary data from nationally representative, in-person surveys in Kenya allows the exploration of the impacts of major social assistance programmes. Our analysis employs the doubly robust difference-in-differences approach to estimate the impacts of social assistance programmes on common measures of household welfare.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (April 2022) This Policy Research Brief analyses how digitalisation can facilitate rural populations’ access to effective and adequate social protection and economic inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. It investigates the region’s social protection response to COVID-19 and highlights three good practices in providing digitalised social protection to vulnerable rural populations during the crisis.
worldbank.org (10.02.2022) The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated poverty and threatened livelihoods in Liberia. The need to respond to this challenge spurred the expansion and digitization of the government’s ongoing cash transfer program. The Liberia Social Safety Nets Project launched the government’s first-ever urban cash transfer program. It provided emergency cash transfers for close to 15,000 households living in vulnerable communities in the Greater Monrovia area, which had recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Liberia.
Economic Research Forum (ERF) (February 2022) This policy brief assesses the impact of COVID-19 on Middle East and North Africa (MENA) labor markets through June 2021. We use data from the four waves of the ERF COVID-19 MENA monitor household surveys, spanning November 2020, February 2021, April 2021, and June 2021. We focus on Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia and developments between February 2021 and June 2021.
brookings.edu (27.05.2022) The COVID-19 recession was born out of a public health threat. Thus, unemployment insurance (UI) was meant to insure people against income losses associated not just with involuntary job loss, as in a usual recession, but also with the choice not to work due to the public health risk.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (March 2020) Children and adolescents are exposed to a multitude of risks, which have worsened due to the socio-economic repercussions of COVID-19. This emphasises the need to improve the protection of children and adolescents, who already faced greater poverty rates than other age groups before the crisis. This One Pager discusses universal cash transfers in Latin America and the Caribbean.
brookings.edu (03.05.2022) Pension systems around the world faced a “stress test” during the pandemic—what you might call the “pension pandemic paradox.” On the one hand, there was pressure to allow access to pension savings as emergency support during a period of sharp economic downturn. This was understandable, since for many people pension savings are their biggest financial asset. But, in some countries, this turned into unprecedented access beyond immediate emergency needs and put the pension savings system at risk.
oecd.org (March 2022) This document provides an update on the use of job retention (JR) schemes during the COVID-19 crisis until the end of 2021 and takes stock of the different strategies employed by OECD governments to adjust them as the crisis evolved. It provides three key insights. First, since reaching a peak of 20% of employment in April/May 2020 on average across OECD countries, the use of JR support has declined to 1.3% in November/December 2021.