During COVID-19, with physical distancing measures and widespread lockdowns, ensuring that social assistance reached beneficiaries quickly and safely has become a priority for many countries. In response, the Government of Colombia deployed a comprehensive set of social protection programs, including the unconditional cash transfer program, Ingreso Solidario, launched in April 2020. The program was designed to provide income to nearly 3 million vulnerable households, mostly informal sector workers, who were not covered by any other of the existing cash transfer program. In this context, the Colombian Government, in partnership with financial service providers, was able to deliver social assistance payments directly into beneficiary accounts. Ingreso Solidario took advantage of Colombia’s newly enacted regulatory modernization, which was supportive of digital financial services to deliver cash transfer through deposits into bank accounts and mobile wallets. The 1.2 million beneficiaries who already had an account received their payment into these existing financial products. For the unbanked, the government deployed an ambitious strategy to financially include more than 1.7 million unbanked beneficiaries.
In this webinar, we’ll learn more about the innovations implemented by the Colombian government to reach new beneficiaries and deliver payments digitally under the Ingreso Solidario program. We’ll explore the implications these innovations have had on beneficiaries and the challenges ahead in the journey to scale up these innovations.
Objectives & expected outcomes
The successful and fast response of the Colombian Government to challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, represents an unprecedented effort to mitigate the negative impact, which was the highest in the most vulnerable people.
Given the program’s success, the webinar has as an objective to share the challenges and innovative solutions taken by the Colombian Government on the following issues:
Subjects to be highlighted
a) Challenges and lessons learned while delivering the transfers
b) Innovations in the context of COVID
i. Leveraging of digital infrastructure and assets
· Creation of an expanded social registry (base de data maestra)
1. Data sharing protocols
ii. Identify/target/reach beneficiaries (especially informal workers)
iii. Account opening process
Other related subjects
d) Digital payments interoperability;
e) Interinstitutional cooperation (public and private sectors);
g) Business case for financial service providers, and
h) Financial inclusion.
The expected outcomes are for webinar participants to learn from Colombia’s experience and integrate what was learned in future similar situations they may encounter in the future, whether they participate in the public or private sector. In this sense, the webinar will provide:
· Capacity building