sciencemag.org (06.11.2020) Telemedicine comes in many shapes and sizes and offers many advantages over the traditional healthcare visit, but until recently, it was largely underutilized. The COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed that—only time will tell if telemedicine’s new popularity will last. On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, radically changing the way medicine is practiced. In the span of a few weeks, as quarantining and social distancing became the norm, in-person medical visits plummeted, suddenly thrusting telemedicine from the wings of medical care to center stage. “The pandemic created a huge public health issue, but the biggest problem wasn’t that COVID-19 patients couldn’t get care—it was that people without the disease couldn’t access their normal care,” says Michael Okun, professor and chair of neurology at the University of Florida.
dw.com (10.05.2021) Heads of the bloc's 27 member states hope to reduce social and economic inequalities that have widened during the coronavirus pandemic.
politico.eu (06.05.2021) Leaders are facing social-welfare policy questions for a changed world. Their answers could alter the EU’s relationship with member states.
Euronews (05.05.2021) What happens when job retention schemes come to an end in Europe? Job retention schemes have kept millions of people in work during the pandemic and lockdowns. As these emergency measures are gradually phased out, how does Europe ensure there are enough jobs and that people have the right skills for the jobs of the future?
oecd.org (29.04.2021) Active labour market policies (ALMPs) that connect people to jobs will help to ensure an equitable and sustained recovery from the COVID‑19 crisis. Already in 2020, many governments reacted swiftly to the crisis by increasing funding for their public employment services (PES), training programmes and measures to increase labour demand. This has allowed the PES to hire additional staff and expand remote and digital accessibility to ensure service continuity. However, additional resources are needed in 2021 and the years to come to ensure that high-quality employment services and programmes can be effective in fostering a quick reintegration of the many jobseekers into the labour market. This policy brief highlights how OECD and a number of other countries have responded to the crisis in adapting and expanding the provision of employment services.
ipcig.org (09.04.2021) The fourth and last section of the Policy in Focus1 magazine analyses the social protection responses to the COVID-19 crisis in Asian countries
blogs.worldbank.org (26.04.2021) In the months after the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), countries across the region acted quickly to limit the spread of the virus. Lockdowns, curfews, and social distancing undoubtedly saved lives, but these necessary actions also constrained businesses and economies. Communities suffered from the loss of jobs and livelihoods, the closure of schools and markets, and the damage to businesses, many of which may never recover.
Reuters (07.04.2020) Oman on Wednesday restructured its pension and social protections systems, part of a reform push by the Gulf Arab state wrestling with an economy battered by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.
blogs.worldbank.org (30:03.2021) Developing countries have introduced an unprecedented number of social protection and jobs policies to mitigate the effects of the crisis. Over the past year, developing countries have introduced more than 1,300 crisis-related social protection and jobs (SPJ) policies. That figure is based on data from the COVID-19 SPJ Policy Inventory for 55 countries, representing 80 percent of the population in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). The Inventory added policies related to labor demand to the already comprehensive social protection and jobs programs collected by Gentilini et al. (2020). These measures exceeded the crisis-related social protection and jobs policies witnessed over two years of the global financial crisis (2008-2009) for a comparable set of developing countries.
fao.org (2021) The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital financial inclusion trends across the world in many and complex ways. In developing and emerging contexts, this crisis also holds the potential to propel an unprecedented acceleration in the process of financial digitization and turn out to be a game-changer for digital financial inclusion. The aim of this study is to illustrate the opportunities and risks associated with the surge in uptake and use of digital financial service, providing ideas on how to leverage the paradigm changes affecting the overall approach and perspective towards digital financial services – on the part of various stakeholders – to advance financial inclusion and development. It also seeks to showcase how digital financial services have been used – in both traditional and innovative ways – to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on economies and societies, by both public and private actors.
EU Reporter (29.03.2021) The European Commission has published the March 2021 edition of the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) Quarterly Review, with a thematic focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the self-employed. The review shows that this group has experienced a strong reduction of their working time and more severe income losses than employees in most member states. National social protection systems typically provide lower coverage and compensation for the self-employed. In the context of the pandemic, most member states have introduced temporary measures to support the income of the self-employed, in addition to short-time work schemes and similar measures accessible for workers, which were supported by the SURE instrument. This support took many different forms, including low interest loans, paid family leave, extended coverage of sickness benefits and income replacement.
Eurofound (March 2021) This report sets out to assess the initial impact of the COVID-19 crisis on employment in Europe (up to Q2 2020), including its effects across sectors and on different categories of workers. It also looks at measures implemented by policymakers in a bid to limit the negative effects of the crisis. It first provides an overview of policy approaches adopted to mitigate the impact of the crisis on businesses, workers and citizens. The main focus is on the development, content and impact of short-time working schemes, income support measures for self-employed people, hardship funds and rent and mortgage deferrals. Finally, it explores the involvement of social partners in the development and implementation of such measures and the role of European funding in supporting these schemes.
International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) March 2021 - The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on the world of social protection. The pandemic has alerted national governments and the international community to the urgency of accelerating progress in building and expanding social protection systems and programmes to leave no one behind. From 5 to 8 October 2020, the socialprotection.org team organised a global e-conference titled ‘Turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity: What’s next for social protection?’. To further disseminate its key discussions, the socialprotection.org platform and the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) have developed two special issues of Policy in Focus. This first issue focuses on experiences from countries in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the overall lessons for the future, including shock-responsive and universal social protection.
(Dec 2020) This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children.
This report comparatively reviews the national social security measures in response to COVID-19 crisis, analyse their effectiveness and long-term consequences, and discuss future challenges in improving the social security system. The report covers seven countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine.
DAWN.COM (22.03.2021) Many countries including Pakistan are actively engaged in developing a new set of social policies and widening the social safety net not only to help calamity-hit poor but also those vulnerable to technology disruptions in a post-covid-19 world
Official Gazette Jordan (16.04.2020) The Tadamun (Solidarity in Arabic) I and II programs is a work suspension allowance targeted to both work institutions covered under social security (Tadamun I) and for those excluded from it (Tadamun II). Tadamun I applies to employers that have contributed for at least 12 months to the Social Security Corporation (SSC). Employees are entitled to 50% of their deductible monthly salaries between JDs 165 and JDs 500 (for lower salaries, the SSC will pay the difference up to the lowest amount). Employers will contribute with 20% of the employees' salaries up to a contribution of JDs 250. For the Tadamun II program, employers can enroll their employees for work suspension insurance from May 202o to December 2020. A pre-condition is that all employers and employees enroll to all other available social insurance schemes by January 2021. The monthly benefit amount is JDs 150, of which JDs 100 are covered by SSC, and JDs 50 by the employer.
Voice of America (09.03.2021) Gyeonggi Province has sent cash to all its residents during the coronavirus pandemic — on top of the stimulus payments the central government has given South Koreans.
etui (March 2021) The purpose of the present study is to map key social protection measures taken during the pandemic from the perspective of fragmentation of labour market statuses, notably by focusing on non-standard workers and the self-employed as well as taking into account the gender dimension of these social protection measures. The analysis focuses on the 27 EU Member States, covering the period of the first wave of the pandemic: from the beginning of the lockdown measures (for most countries at the beginning of March 2020) until 31 December 2020.