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The use of digital technology by states to distribute social assistance to their citizens has grown dramatically since the start of the 21st century. Continuous advancement in information technology has only increased the viability of such government-to-people, or G2P, payment systems.

The emergence of COVID-19 both intensified the use of digital G2P payments and spurred new approaches to their design and implementation. Economic dislocation brought on by the pandemic caused governments to dramatically expand social assistance spending. That scale, and the need for social distancing, led governments to digitally process and remotely deliver those benefits when possible. The ways governments used G2P payments as part of the response to COVID-19, however, was highly dependent on the specific tools at their disposal, leading to a wide variety of experiences internationally.

As a result, the literature on digital G2P payments has grown explosively. Researchers have taken full advantage of the diversity of responses to the pandemic to explore the steps taken by countries, the experiences of individuals and marginalized groups affected by those measures, and the lessons learned that will inform future policy initiatives.

Yet, while this research is incredibly valuable to present and future policymakers, it has proven difficult to access. Publication has been diffuse, with articles either spread across multiple organizational websites or buried in generalized databases of development literature. With a new project, we aim to fix that.

At the outset of the pandemic, CGD launched a website, g2p-network.org to facilitate a series of working groups exploring digital payments and COVID-19 and to highlight important findings in the vast and rapidly growing array of academic and policy work on G2P systems.

Today, we’re launching a new, expanded version of the project. As time has passed, the need for a central archive for the literature surrounding digital G2P payments has only grown, and so we have re-designed and expanded the site’s role as a repository.

The new g2p-network.org features more G2P research than ever before, indexed and categorized across a range of regions and topics, from identifying beneficiaries to protecting privacy. We’re actively compiling and curating new work to ensure that the latest and most important resources can be found in one place. And we will be tracking developments in this space through blog posts that highlight recent research and probe emerging trends. We hope the new site is an asset to policymakers and researchers alike in this dynamic and timely field.

We hope you will take the time to explore the new website, benefit from its research, and suggest ways to make it better.

Feedback? Suggestions? Comment below or email us at contact@g2p-network.org.

Disclaimer

CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.