Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
Facing the Development Challenges of the 21st Century: What Role for Budget Support?
October 11, 2023
Budget support offers direct financing to a country’s treasury to create more “fiscal space” for public programs. It has constituted some 14 percent of ODA on average, increasing to over 20 percent in times of crisis. No aid modality is more controversial. Critics argue that, without earmarking fund...
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Collapse of real wages in Nigeria: When those on minimum wage live below minimum wage
June 13, 2023
Can Digital Transfers Empower Mothers? The Case of Bangladesh’s Primary Education Supplement Program (PESP)
February 10, 2023
Historically, social assistance payments were often distributed in cash at designated payment points—government offices, community meetings, or schools. More recently, payments have increasingly been distributed digitally, through bank accounts or mobile wallets.
Can Digital G2P Payments Increase Financial Inclusion and Empower Women? Evidence from PESP in Bangladesh
February 10, 2023
Bangladesh’s Primary Education Stipend Program provides stipends for 13 million primary schoolchildren to 10 million mothers. In 2017 the method of payment changed from cash to mobile money. This study considers the experience of the mothers with the shift to mobile money, and to the change in payme...
Does Choice Empower G2P Recipients? Insights from Kenya’s Inua Jamii Program
January 19, 2023
Kenya has become a poster child for digitally driven development. Known as “Silicon Savannah,” the country has a multi-billion-dollar tech industry that routinely produces startups. Among its most prominent successes is M-Pesa. Launched in 2007, the mobile wallet service revolutionized how Kenyans t...
Models of Social Payments through Inua Jamii
January 19, 2023
This study surveys Kenya's electronic payment system for social benefits, Inua Jamii, from the perspective of recipients, including their views on convenience and the benefits from competition. It also considers whether these digital G2P payments programs have increased financial inclusion more gene...
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A Critical Time in South Africa: Conversation with Ann Bernstein
October 19, 2022
South Africa’s economy has underperformed during the past decade. The COVID‑19 crisis has weakened an already fragile economy, hobbled by endemic power rationing. Incomes have been declining, unemployment remains high, at around 35% and income inequality is considered to be the highest in the world....
Can Digital G2P Transfers Drive Financial Inclusion and Digital Payments? Evidence from India
June 09, 2022
Does channeling government-to-person (G2P) payments through bank accounts encourage financial inclusion and use? This paper explores the factors that have driven the adoption of digital payments in India by beneficiaries of PMGKY, the large-scale COVID-19 relief program launched in May 2020.
Beyond India’s Lockdown: PMGKY Benefits During the COVID-19 Crisis and the State of Digital Payments
April 11, 2022
India imposed a lock-down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and began a gradual re-opening in June. A telephonic survey in April examined the early effectiveness of information and the massive PMGKY social protection program (Policy Paper 217). This paper analyzes a second-round sur...