The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for a universal and portable social protection system that can uniquely verify people and deliver benefits efficiently and at scale. In most cases, existing programs are not portable, meaning those who live and work in a place other than where they are registered—like many who have migrated domestically for work—are unable to access benefits.
CGD Policy Blogs
India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh sustain critical social safety net programs which, despite implementation challenges, deliver social assistance at scale. This blog offers an initial view on the ways in which these programs are being scaled up to provide social assistance during COVID-19.
The COVID-19 response amounts to a significant expansion in the scale and scope of direct cash transfers as well as other social assistance—a huge increase in government-to-people (G2P) payments. As we explain in our new report, delivering on these programs will require an enormous increase in the capacity of states to implement them.
Can We Use Digital Technology to Cushion the Pandemic’s Blow—and in the Longer Run, Deliver on the SDGs?
As the world grapples with COVID-19, many countries have announced cash transfers. Delivering will require an enormous increase in state capacity to make payments to citizens.
It has now been a decade since India’s biometric identification system, Aadhaar, was set in motion. It has been an interesting journey with many twists, turns and speed bumps along the way, but one that is finally settling down into a more predictable path.
Forests have been all over the news recently as the Brazilian Amazon burns and the world reacts. One of the most consequential decisions for India’s forests will be made soon in a surprising place—the country’s 15th Finance Commission.
As the United Nations General Assembly meets this week, global leaders will be taking stock of their countries’ progress towards the SDGs and mapping out where they still have to go. Our research has shown that, together, financial accounts, ID, and mobile phones can facilitate a wide variety of cross-cutting programs to meet the SDGs, which can be cost-effective at scale.
Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers, as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions.
India is now recognized as a leader in digital government service delivery, enabled by the Aadhaar unique identification platform which has registered the equivalent of almost 15 percent of the world’s population. Many service delivery programs have been deployed at the state level, providing a rich comparative context. Some states have struggled to move towards effective and inclusive digitized programs while others have seemingly achieved a sophistication that is on par with, or surpasses, many developed countries’ capacities.
If you own a bank account, chances are you are better off than a third of women worldwide. If that bank account comes with a nice app on your phone, you’re probably economically better off than 60 percent of women worldwide.