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Philippine News Agency (17.10.2021) The implementation of the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) has resulted in milestones for the country's social protection and digital transformation, according to a World Bank official.
He said success in utilizing PhilSys for social protection has a "significant demonstration effect" in accelerating digital transformation among government agencies and even the private sector.
Diop noted that "countries that already had good and inclusive digital infrastructure including internet connectivity, digital identification, digital payments, and integrated data ecosystems were better equipped to quickly adapt their social protection programs to meet urgent needs".
In the Philippines, he said the delivery of social assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic presents a challenge.
"Fortunately, the country is moving to address digital infrastructure gaps, including through the development of the Philippine Identification System. PhilSys is one of the most complex but also game-changing projects undertaken in the country," he added.
OECD (21.10.2021) The COVID-19 crisis has hit the long-term care (LTC) sector particularly hard, with large numbers of people dependent on care and particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 have fallen ill, and a disproportionate rate of LTC workers both exposed to, and infected by, COVID-19. The analysis presented in this report describes the effects of COVID-19 on LTC in OECD countries, mainly showing infection rates and mortality of LTC recipients. It takes stock of the wide range of policy responses that countries have implemented, detailing the changes over time on testing strategies, reduction of interactions and isolation measures, digitalisation of services, and workforce. The report also assesses emergency preparedness in the sector, as well as workforce, organisational and coordination challenges. Finally, the report analyses how policy responses affected care continuity and the well-being of residents while also outlining the effectiveness of vaccination.
worldbank.org (07.10.2021) The World Bank, in collaboration with the Government of South Africa, released a new report assessing the country’s social assistance programs and systems. In an environment of high unemployment, persistent poverty, weak economic growth and shrinking fiscal resources that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Social Assistance Programs and Systems Review: South Africa report underscores the critical role of the grant and social assistance system in mitigating poverty. This report also provides policy considerations that could help move South Africa’s system of social transfers towards sustainable and productive investments in its people.
oecd.org (14.10.2021) The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant deterioration in public finances, adding to pre-existing strains from long-term structural challenges including population ageing, climate change, rising inequality, digitalisation and automation. This report, originally prepared for G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at the request of the Italian G20 Presidency, considers the challenges and opportunities of developing public fiscal policy strategies as countries seek to “build back better”. The report focuses in particular on how tax policy can be designed comprehensively so that fiscal systems can deliver a balance of equity, growth and sustainability, highlighting some of the key considerations that policymakers should take into account to ensure optimal tax policy design and the successful implementation of tax reform.
allafrica.com (14.10.2021) Social protection is a right for the federal government and not a token or favour. The last 18 months have been difficult for families and communities across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The vision of equality and inclusion as explained in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has become blurred. Social protection programme coverage in Nigeria has remained low during the COVID-19 crisis. Between mid-March and July 2020, about 4.9 per cent of households received assistance in the form of cash from institutions including the government and about 3.6 per cent in kind assistance. The COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed the weakness of the current global economic model and social protection system. More than four billion persons, about 53 per cent of the global population, are completely unprotected against economic shocks. With about 17.4 per cent social protection cover, Africa has the least social protection coverage for its citizens leaving most Africans vulnerable to economic shocks, poverty, hunger, huge sickness burden, illiteracy, and destitution.
blogs.worldbank.org (07.10.2021) The Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) program is the flagship of Greece’s social protection reforms and particularly effective by international standards in reaching poor households. Its national launch in February 2017 aligned Greece with other EU members in offering a last resort benefit. The government used the program as a platform to provide additional one-off support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asian Development Bank (August 2021) The three-tiered elderly system in the country consists of home-based care as the core support, community-based care as necessary support, and residential care as supplementary support. The main policies and progress of the system are explained, including insights on how the government encourages private sector involvement. A key recommendation of this paper is the need for better integration of residential and home- and community-based care as part of the elderly care system.
worldbank.org (23.06.2021) The report discusses the "Takaful and Karama" cash transfer program (TKP) in Egypt. Launched in 2015, it is a flagship social assistance initiative of the government. Takaful is a family income support program. It is a conditional cash transfers programme targeting poverty reduction and improved human development outcomes in health and education. Karama is an unconditional income support and social inclusion sub programme. The intended beneficiaries are the poor elderly (above age 65) and persons with severe disability.
china.org.cn (30.09.2021) The number of people of retirement age in Germany will rise by 22 percent by 2035, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said on Thursday. The number of people aged 67 or over in the country will go up to 20 million, a 22 percent increase from 2020, the first medium-term population projection conducted by Destatis showed. The head of the Federal Employment Agency, Detlef Scheele, was quoted in the media as saying in August that Germany needed 400,000 new workers per year to replenish its labor force. The aging population was the main reason behind the shortage of workers, Scheele said.
pensionpolicyinternational.com ( (01.10.2020) Mr Alhassan Yakubu Fuseini, the Tamale Zonal Manager of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), says the Authority plans to rope in 11 million workers in the formal sector onto pension schemes. He said as the NPRA works to achieve its target, it would also ensure that coverage for the informal sector was increased from the current three per cent to 40 per cent by 2026.
tribune.com.pk (19.09.2021) Taking a lead on universal social protection, the Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations convened the first meeting of the Group of Friends on Social Protection along with Turkey, Nigeria and Costa Rica.
brookings.edu (24.09.2021) With COVID-19’s disruptions in employment, child care, and education, it is unsurprising that child poverty substantially increased in 2020—roughly 1.2 million more children were living in poverty in 2020 when compared to 2019 (an increase from 15.7% to 17.5%). As child poverty is unequally distributed in America, so too were its increases—poverty rates grew the most among Latino children (4.2 percentage points), Black children (2.8 percentage points), and children from female-headed families (4.1 percentage points), while they remained flat for white and Asian children.
calpnetwork.org (10.03. 2021) Challenges due to the pandemic have led to all kinds of innovations and adaptations focused on remote targeting, enrolment, verification and delivery. While required for the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, these new approaches might be useful in future responses that require remote targeting and delivery, such as in fragile contexts.
This case study explores digital remote targeting approaches that GiveDirectly is using for cash assistance, and ways that the organization is addressing data responsibility. Early results indicate that the approach they have taken has been effective at quickly delivering COVID-19-related cash transfers to a large number of individuals living in extreme poverty in record time.
European Commission (07.09.2021) This ESPN report examines the (sub)national social protection and inclusion policy measures that European countries put in place to help address the social and financial distress created by the pandemic and by lockdown policies. It covers the 27 EU Member States, the 7 candidate and potential candidate countries, and the UK. The report provides a description and assessment of the main measures implemented, an initial estimate of the overall expenditure on crisis measures as well as an analysis of the demographic, economic and social impact of the pandemic in the 35 countries covered. It reveals an overall rapid reaction through the introduction of (mostly) temporary measures - primarily relaxing eligibility conditions, increasing benefit levels and creating new ad hoc social and job protection schemes.
brookings.edu (08.09.2021) As COVID-19 spread across the world, governments responded with an unprecedented increase in social assistance measures. Policymakers had to shift their focus to urban areas, particularly slums, whose residents were hit the hardest by the pandemic and its economic impact. Social safety nets, traditionally targeting chronic poverty in rural areas, had to be reinvented overnight: The new objective was to prevent informal workers affected by lockdowns from falling back into poverty. Exciting innovations in the design and delivery of social transfers followed, with emerging lessons informing us, as the world continues battling the pandemic.
bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com (27.08.2021) Cash transfer program during pandemics provide a social protection mechanism to improve the health of the most vulnerable households. This article analysis the impact of cash transfers on household demand for health care during Covid-19.
globalcitizen.org (10.09.2021) As countries seek to contain COVID-19, a return to the way things were is not an option, according to Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Instead, countries must guarantee basic living conditions. “We see that when social protection remains weak, the poorest pay the price,” De Schutter said. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic slowdown, an estimated 115 million additional people may have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020, and 35 million more may follow this year. “This could have been avoided with strong social protection mechanisms, which shows that if governments maintain low levels of social support, societies are not ready to cushion shocks,” he added. “They actually run into a stone wall.” De Schutter recently spoke to Global Citizen about the global effort to achieve a “social protection floor,” what people get wrong about welfare, and how eliminating poverty helps all of us.
Africa at LSE (01.09.2021) Across Africa, states have adapted or expanded social protection measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These interventions provide valuable policy lessons and political opportunities to reimagine the social contract on the continent.
ILO 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the social protection gap between countries with high and low income levels.
Modern Diplomacy (31.08.01 ) As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple across the world, they leave in their wake an upheaval touching all areas of public life. While all have been effected, no segment of the population has been impacted more, and in more varied ways, than women. The pandemic has shown scant regard for women’s socio-economic or marital status, for motherhood, occupation ethnicity or region of origin. Instead, it has brought into stark relief the fragility of global progress toward gender equality, illuminating the deep and ongoing imbalances in our political, social and economic systems and threatening what advances have been accomplished over the past few decades.