Building a diagnostic tool for Government-to-Person Payments for COVID-19 response

Client Partners
International Monetary Fund
  • Global
  • Strategic Framework
  • Analogous Inspiration
  • User Interviews
  • Data Modeling

When COVID-19 struck, governments worldwide sought the IMF’s support and guidance on how best to supply monetary stimulus to its citizens. The IMF needed specific payment expertise to support its local teams; meanwhile, executive leadership needed help gauging to what extent countries had the right infrastructure and capabilities to deliver cash transfers effectively. When the IMF approached Digital Disruptions in early April 2020, it needed an initial framework to make sense of this new landscape – all within five calendar days.

Approach & Outcome

After receiving the green light over the weekend, Digital Disruptions sprang into action.  We developed an interconnected framework comprised of eight key “building blocks” for mobile-based, emergency-response Government-to-Person payments within five days. We also provided detailed descriptors for each building blocks so that the IMF teams could easily measure if the country in question had any major risk factors to deliver government transfers. This formed the basis for a working paper later written by the IMF Team.

With that urgent project delivered, the IMF re-engaged Digital Disruptions to provide a more detailed diagnostic tool and assessment. Owing to the “emergency” nature of the tool, the team sought inspiration from the triaging and diagnostic process of emergency rooms, and  interviewed ER doctors to gain insights. In close collaboration with multiple IMF teams, we produced a user-friendly, multiple-choice diagnostic tool that an IMF staff member could easily complete. We also included an automatic scoring in the back-end so a local IMF team could immediately see how a country was faring. The tool has been piloted with two local IMF teams in Asia and Africa, with plans to expand to other countries.

We turned to Digital Disruptions for their extensive country knowledge, and their hands-on practical experience on financial and development questions. In a very short time frame, the company was able to deliver the G2P cash transfer framework we needed.

Herve Toupe
Head of Digital Advisory,
International Monetary Fund

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