The Impacts of Cash in a Pandemic: Evidence from Cash-Based Programming in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to steep drops in employment, income, and access to markets, pushing tens of millions of people in low- and middle-income countries into poverty. Social protection programming has emerged as a critical response to the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these programs are social assistance measures, which provide benefits to individuals even if they have not previously paid contributions to the program. Before the pandemic, cash-based social assistance has been shown to successfully reduce poverty and enhance well-being along a number of dimensions, across many different countries. But what is known about the extent to which cash transfers have mitigated the worst social, economic, and health impacts of the pandemic? And who has benefitted the most from such assistance?

This webinar collates the current evidence on cash during the pandemic across a range of outcomes including food security and nutrition, livelihood support, health behaviors, and inequalities. It does so by highlighting rigorous impact evaluations of cash-based programs from countries across Latin America and Africa including cash transfers and public works programs.


Dan SteinChief Economist, IDinsight
Kibrom TafereEconomist in the Sustainability and Infrastructure Team, Development Research Group
Naercio Aquino Menezes FilhoFull Professor (IFB Chair) and Coordinator, Insper Public Policy Center
Pablo QuerubínAssistant Professor of Politics and Economics, New York University
Ana Serrano (moderator), Policy and Partnerships Manager, IPA Colombia

Time: 9 AM-12 PM CST / 10 AM-1 PM

Location: Virtual

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022