The use of telemedicine, or remote clinical consultations, was limited in most OECD countries before the COVID‑19 pandemic, held back by regulatory barriers and hesitancy from patients and providers. In early 2020, as COVID‑19 massively disrupted in-person care, governments moved quickly to promote the use of telemedicine. The number of teleconsultations skyrocketed, playing a vital role in maintaining access to care, but only partly offsetting reductions in in-person care.
worldbank.org (2022) The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in vast numbers of people in need of social assistance, many of whom were not previously covered by social safety nets. To meet this unprecedented level of need, governments quickly scaled social assistance reaching over 1.7 billion people in low- and middle income countries.
worldbank.org (03.10.2022) The COVID-19 crisis highlighted how digital public infrastructure (DPI) can play a critical role for governments to deliver social assistance quickly and safely. DPI not only allowed governments to reach an unprecedented number of new beneficiaries, it also allowed them to make payments to them remotely. This brought millions of people into the social protection and financial system for the first time.
IZA (Oct 2022) In response to strong revenue and income losses that a large share of the self-employed faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the German federal government introduced a €50bn emergency aid program. Based on real-time online-survey data comprising more than 20,000 observations, we analyze the impact of this program on the subjective survival probability. In particular, we investigate how the digitalization level of the self-employed influences the program’s effectiveness.
ipcig.org (03.10.2022) COVID-19 has affected all countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and groups already vulnerable before the crisis, such as children, have been particularly affected. Social protection can promote children’s well-being and reduce the negative impacts of crises on them, especially if their needs and vulnerabilities are taken into account. Against this background, the IPC-IG and UNICEF MENARO partnered to analyse the social protection responses to COVID-19 in MENA and assess the extent to which they took children’s needs into account.
iza.org (Sept 2022) This paper provides an overview on the income support measures for non-covered workers implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis, describing the collection of measures and policies in place in each selected country. This document provides a comparative overview of the different measures implemented in the context of the crisis, considering their design and evolution across the course of the crisis. In sum, there has been a worldwide wave of income transfers to support those hit hard by the pandemic.
ipcig.org (01.09.2022) Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)—commonly referred to as ‘stimulus checks’—were one of the key measures adopted by the US government to ease the crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. By May 2022, USD817 billion had been distributed to about 85 per cent of US households. However, those most in need faced many obstacles to receive the benefits, or never even received them. This Policy Research Brief examines some aspects of the operationalisation of this initiative and provides suggestions for future improvement.
saspen.org (2022) This Brief examines social assistance spending in Africa before, during and post-COVID-19 and uses the same to demonstrate how social protection experts in Africa can build on this spending momentum to improve the adequacy and reach of social assistance.
UNICEF /UNDP (2022) Responding to climate change, reducing poverty, and supporting social inclusion must be addressed together to build resilient economies and societies. As the recovery from COVID-19 continues, governments need to invest in addressing social and economic inequalities while actively promoting new, sustainable, and climate-friendly livelihoods and income-generating opportunities for all.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (01.08.2022) The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the foundations of the economy and provoked devastating social effects in all the countries in the world, being Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) one of the most affected regions.