A Vaccine Is Not the Only Answer to COVID-19: Why Strengthening Statistical and Data Systems Must Be Part of the Solution
The COVID-19 pandemic has been financially devastating, tightening budgets around the world. But Deirdre Appel and Shaida Badiee at Open Data Watch caution governments and development organizations against defunding the systems that provide accurate, real-time data. They explore why strong data systems are essential – not only to fighting the virus, but to responding to future needs and crises.
The Impact of COVID-19 as Seen in Solar Payment Data – and How One Off-Grid Energy Company is Responding
Since COVID-19 began, the energy company Bboxx has been monitoring payment trends among its 250,000+ pay-as-you-go solar customers in 12 emerging markets. Analysts at Bboxx assess the data from four African countries, exploring what it says about the pandemic's impact on solar electricity users – and about how to support these customers during the crisis.
Africa’s COVID-19 Moment: How Youth Startups Are Addressing the Pandemic – And What They Need to Reach the Next Level
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a young and increasingly entrepreneurial population. As Ahunna Eziakonwa at UNDP and Eleni Gabre-Madhin at blueMoon explain, many youth-led African startups are repurposing their businesses or launching new operations to address COVID-19. They profile some of these young innovators, and lay out four ways the global development community can support them.
Supporting Women-led Businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa During COVID-19: Strategies to Survive and Thrive
Women-led businesses in Africa face many obstacles, from limited access to finance and networks, to social and legal constraints – and COVID-19 has only added to that burden. In response, Nathalie Gogue Ebo and Angela Kerubo at Open Capital argue that governments, financiers and other players need to apply a gender lens approach when designing COVID-19 support for these enterprises.
Leading a social impact-focused organization during a crisis like COVID-19 isn't easy. Alex Counts, the founder of Grameen Foundation and author of two recent books on mission-driven leadership, shares some of the top lessons he has learned from his decades in the sector, to help leaders guide their non-profits and social enterprises through this time of national and global crisis.
Building Back Better: How the COVID-19 Crisis Could Lead to an Integration of Health Care and Finance
Since COVID-19 started, the health care world has been talking about finance, trying to lessen the economic damage of lockdowns. And the financial world has been talking about health, launching new products that address the challenges of the pandemic. Chris Wolff explores how the two industries can use their combined response to rebuild in a way that leaves the world in a better place than it was before.
Cash Transfers in the U.S. are Exploding: Here’s How to Make them Effective, During COVID-19 and Beyond
The U.S., like over 130 countries around the world, has deployed direct cash transfers to mitigate the hardships of COVID-19. But as Sheida Isabel Elmi and Rachel Black at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program point out, many U.S. households were financially insecure even before the pandemic began. They argue that cash transfers should be an ongoing response to these vulnerabilities, and share research on how to leverage these programs for the fullest benefit.
A New Test for Old Technology: How COVID-19 is Sparking Innovation in PayGo Financing for Biodigesters
Biodigesters transform animal manure into high-quality fertilizer and biogas, replacing the need for wood-burning cooking stoves – and PayGo financing enables smallholders to afford them. But as Laura Harwig at Feed the Future explains, COVID-19 has made it harder for farmers to make their payments. She explores how the biodigester company ATEC* has adapted its PayGo model to help farmers weather these challenges.