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.
Information and communication technology
tandfonline.com (31.03.2021) What are the effects of biometric and digital technologies on social protection for the poor in India? Drawing on ethnographic research from rural Tamil Nadu, this paper presents evidence of how new technologies are experienced by beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System (PDS), and analyses the impacts of technology innovations on transparency, exclusion and mediation. The authors focus on the implementation of ‘smartcards,’ new digitised and Aadhaar-enabled ration cards, introduced in ration shops across Tamil Nadu in 2017.
The Economic Times (26.08.2022) The government plans to integrate e-Shram portal with state portal for onboarding social security schemes run by the central government and the state governments to universalize social protection to workers and to improve employment opportunities for them.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) (01.08.2022) There is a global trend to automate and digitalise the cash payments of social protection programmes, and there has been a shift towards diversifying payment means in some African countries such as Zambia, Namibia, Togo, Tanzania, Malawi, Comoros and Mozambique. In Mozambique, the COVID-19 pandemic response has tripled the social protection system’s coverage, from 520,000 to approximately 1.6 million households. In the past few years, the country’s emergency response has driven improvements in digital payments.
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.
Pension Policy International (16.06.2022) In order to seamlessly process, track and disburse pensions, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare will soon launch an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled the common portal for the benefit of pensioners and elderly citizens. Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that the AI-supported portal, ‘Bhavishya’, will send automatic alerts to pensioners and superannuated senior citizens, including retired paramilitary personnel.
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.
Asian Development Bank (December 2021) Examples from low- and middle-income countries in the region and beyond are drawn to demonstrate how digital solutions have improved health insurance management and administration. To support decision-making on potential investments, the report identifies key success factors for integrating new technologies into public health insurance schemes.
brookings.edu (17.02.2022) The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an estimated 124 million people into extreme poverty globally, the first increase in extreme poverty in 20 years. To meet the magnitude of this need, governments around the world have dramatically ramped up social protection measures, and in particular cash transfers, which comprised one-third of all COVID-related social protection programs. A staggering 17 percent of the world’s population, or 1.3 billion people, were covered by at least one COVID-related cash payment between 2020 and 2021.