RECOVR Webinar Series | Cash Transfers for COVID-19 Relief

RECOVR Webinar Series | Cash Transfers for COVID-19 Relief

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This webinar is part of IPA's RECOVR Webinar Series: Bringing Evidence to COVID-19 Policy Responses in the Global South. Together with our partners, we are using this series to rapidly share what we are learning with the policy and research community to support evidence-informed response efforts. More information about other events in the series is available here.

Since March, governments and NGOs across the world have been working to provide cash support to the individuals and households most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, ensuring this support reaches the right people quickly, especially in countries where data is unreliable or incomplete, is incredibly challenging. 

In this webinar hosted by Innovations for Poverty Action and the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), representatives from academia, government, NGO, and funding institutions shared some of the innovative approaches they are using—and testing—to identify and reach those most in need of cash support. 

Joshua Blumenstock (University of California, Berkeley and CEGA) discussed how mobile phone and satellite data can be used to more accurately target emergency cash support to vulnerable populations, highlighting ongoing work with the government of Togo. Minister Cina Lawson and Shegun Bakari (Government of Togo) discussed how the Togo government is prioritizing cash transfers and how the collaboration with researchers is helping them achieve their goals. Mark Laichena (GiveDirectly) shared what the NGO GiveDirectly is learning through its experience targeting cash transfers in Africa during the pandemic. Finally, Tina George (World Bank) discussed how the institution is engaging with Togo and other countries in the region to build the foundational elements of delivery systems for social protection. Radha Rajkotia (IPA) hosted the webinar and moderated a Q&A on the evidence and lessons for COVID-19 response in other contexts.

Watch the webinar recording below:



  • Joshua Blumenstock, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley School of Information, and Faculty Co-Director, CEGA
  • Cina Lawson, Minister of Posts, Digital Economy and Technical Innovation, Togo
  • Shegun Bakari, Senior Advisor to the President of Togo
  • Tina George, Senior Social Protection Specialist and Regional Task Team Leader (WURI), World Bank
  • Mark Laichena, Africa Operations Director, GiveDirectly 
  • Radha Rajkotia (Moderator), Chief Research & Policy Officer, IPA




United States