One of the World's Poorest Countries Found a Better Way to Do Stimulus

An all-digital system delivered monthly payments to millions of Togolese people in need during the coronavirus. The platform, built in two weeks, immediately verifies applicants’ eligibility and instantly sends a text message with electronic funds. The program’s rollout began with monthly stipends to in need around Lomé and has slowly expanded to other groups. Most recently, researchers used algorithms using satellite images to first identify impoverished communities based on their layout and housing materials and then used mobile phone data to identify the poorest individuals within those regions.

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