Giving Compass' Take:

• Kelly Ong describes the importance of financial collaboration between government and the private sector for effective COVID-19 response policies in Asia.

• How is this true in every part of the globe, not just in Asia? How do many COVID-19 response policies neglect the most marginalized groups? What are you doing to use your giving to address this?

• Look for resources to help you contribute to a collaborative approach to COVID-19 response.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the lives of millions around the world with several countries already experiencing a second wave of infections, what started out as a health crisis has not only unearthed fundamental gaps in social protections systems, but also set back global economies.

Against this backdrop, impact networks play a pertinent role in assessing the landscape to explore how the regional ecosystem can work together and build back better. In this regard, AVPN and UNDP brought together key public and private sector practitioners, representing policymakers, corporates, and think tanks who are deeply engaged in COVID-19 response measures in Asia, to highlight local challenges and offer suggestions to finance effective solutions.

The common consensus was that the biggest opportunities for impact and scale lie in last mile communities. Most social protection systems across Asia’s developing countries fail to reach the most vulnerable.

A large part of this inefficiency is due to a dominant informal economy that does not have structured data for governments to appropriately intervene. This task is further complicated as demographics within the informal sector vary widely; sweeping solutions, therefore, simply do not make the cut. As such, the session brought forth various recommendations on how governments can finance solutions for social protection during and beyond the pandemic.

Financing social protection programmes and systems should not be solely dependent on the government’s budgetary expenditure. For an optimised system, governments need to incentivise private sector firms to increase their levels of formal employment and capacity building efforts. Mission-driven businesses, on the other hand, must continue collaborating with other civil society organisations and public agencies to bridge the need-service gap.

Read the full article about COVID-19 response policies in Asia by Kelly Ong at AVPN.