Key policy responses from the OECD

The OECD is compiling data, analysis and recommendations on a range of topics to address the emerging health, economic and societal crisis, facilitate co-ordination, and contribute to the necessary global action when confronting this enormous collective challenge. This new series brings together policy responses spanning a large range of topics, from health to education and taxes, providing guidance on the short-term measures needed in affected sectors and a specific focus on the vulnerable sectors of society and the economy. Beyond immediate responses, the content aims to provide analysis on the longer-term consequences and impacts, paving the way to recovery with co-ordinated policy responses across countries.

The world economy on a tightrope
OECD Economic Outlook, June 2020
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25/06/2020
Pandemic preparedness and response are quintessential “global public goods”: unless the new coronavirus is controlled everywhere, the risk of pandemic resurgence remains. This paper presents the key role of development finance in helping developing countries’ health systems prepare and respond to outbreaks. Yet, the global architecture is proving insufficient – and the risk is great that developing countries will be deeply affected by the direct consequences of the outbreak.
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25/06/2020
The COVID-19 epidemic is disrupting business activity, causing demand to collapse and straining global supply chains. Based on the OECD Product Market Regulation (PMR) indicators, this note considers the policy challenges raised by government interventions, with a special focus on the governance of state-owned enterprises and exit strategies from state ownership.
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24/06/2020
The report documents the special measures taken by 30 OECD countries and partners. It provides evidence on institutional arrangements and monitoring rules that were introduced for emergency contracting of critical items needed for the current COVID-19 situation and the support provided by the respective ministry or public procurement central body to the contracting authorities, especially in terms of supplier and ongoing contract management. Regarding infrastructure governance, the report presents the actions on identifying critical infrastructure, setting up new or temporary infrastructure and repurposing of already existing infrastructure. The country factsheets also presents innovative, out-of-box solutions.
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24/06/2020
This note discusses the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis on financing for sustainable development in low- and middle-income countries eligible for official development assistance (ODA).
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23/06/2020
This note discusses how policies on trade, manufacturing and intellectual property can speed up Africa’s response, focusing on enabling access to medical devices and drugs in four critical areas: testing, protecting, treating and curing (TPTC). For each area, the note provides a snapshot of the global situation, a zoom on trends in Africa, and examples of solutions implemented by the public and the private sectors. The note identifies five priority actions for Africa to respond effectively to COVID-19 and accelerate structural transformation and development across the continent.
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22/06/2020
This paper features the long-term care sector, its workforce and infrastructure in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
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22/06/2020
This policy brief details the impact of COVID-19 on retirement savings schemes, describes some of the policies already being implemented in different countries and provides policy guidelines.
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16/06/2020
This paper takes an in-depth look at the health/social, economic, and fiscal impact related to the COVID-19 crisis. It provides good practice examples from all OECD countries and beyond, to help mitigate the territorial effects of the crisis, and offers ten takeaways on managing COVID-19’s territorial impact, its implications for multi-level governance, subnational finance and public investment, as well as points for policy-makers to consider as they build more resilient regions.
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16/06/2020
The retail sector is of paramount importance across OECD countries. It operates as a gateway to consumers from upstream sectors, accounts for almost 5% of GDP, and employs about 1 in 12 workers. COVID-19 has dramatically disrupted the sector, with the shock differing massively between brick-and-mortar versus online shops, essential versus non-essential stores, and small versus large retailers. This document lists five policy measures that countries need to take now for the benefit of firms, workers and customers to shield the retail sector from the effects of the crisis and enhance its resilience.
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16/06/2020
This note focuses on the implications of COVID-19 on rural development and the policy responses that OECD member countries are adopting. It first discusses the economic effects on rural regions followed by an identification of opportunities and associated challenges. The note then summarises how governments are responding to the crisis and identifies how governments can prepare to leverage opportunities. The note will be subsequently revised with further inputs provided by countries.
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16/06/2020
This policy brief is intended to help reflect on measures being considered in development co-operation that could ensure results during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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15/06/2020
Through social benefit programmes (SBP), governments protect individuals and families from economic and social risks, and provide a safety net for households and businesses. As governments are witnessing an increase in cases of fraud in SBPs, maintaining the effectiveness and accountability of these programmes is more vital than ever. This note considers how governments can safeguard SBPs from fraud and error in both the short and long term to ensure that entitlements are reaching beneficiaries as the effects of the COVID-19 crisis continue to be felt.
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15/06/2020
The focus of this brief is on the steps that government can take to address the consequences of coronavirus (COVID-19) in situations of forced displacement in developing countries with a view to ensuring that no one is left behind. The brief examines the exposure of forcibly displaced persons to health risks and the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, in particular in fragile contexts. It further highlights key protection safeguards to be integrated in the effort to improve health systems and resilience of societies.
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12/06/2020
In an unprecedented global health crisis, trade is essential to save lives and livelihoods; and international co-operation is needed to keep trade flowing. In the midst of significant uncertainty, there are four things we can do: boost confidence in trade and global markets by improving transparency about trade-related policy actions and intentions, keep supply chains flowing, especially for essentials such as health supplies and food, avoid making things worse, through unnecessary export restrictions and other trade barriers and even in the midst of the crisis, think beyond the immediate. Government support today needs to be delivered in a way that ensures it serves the public interest, not vested interests, and avoids becoming tomorrow’s market distortions. OECD is working with other IOs to support governments through timely and objective evidence and analysis to inform policy choices.
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12/06/2020
This note analyses the roles of job-preserving measures, including short-time work schemes, and the unemployment insurance system in supporting workers’ income and ensuring that employment rapidly rebounds as COVID-19-related shutdowns of non-essential activities are eased. Given large uncertainty about the longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for the reallocation of resources across industries and firms, the challenge is to preserve jobs that are viable in the medium term while allowing workers in distressed firms and industries to move to those with better growth prospects. The note outlines a number of policy options to balance job preservation with reallocation by adjusting the parameters of existing policies as the COVID-19 crisis evolves. This paper is also available as Issue Note 5 OECD (2020), OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2020 Issue 1: Preliminary version, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/0d1d1e2e-en.
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12/06/2020
This note provides estimates of the share of non-standard workers that are particularly vulnerable to the loss of income or job as a result of the widespread shutdown in economic activity due to COVID-19 containment measures. The focus is on non-standard workers, given that they often have less access to social protection and to job retention schemes than regular workers. The changing nature of work has been associated with a gradual increase over time in the share of non-standard forms of employment. The note discusses what policies can do, and what policy actions governments have taken, to support vulnerable workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Parts of this paper are also available in Issue Note 4 OECD (2020), OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2020 Issue 1: Preliminary version, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/0d1d1e2e-en.
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11/06/2020
The COVID-19 global health emergency and its economic and social impacts have disrupted nearly all aspects of life for all groups in society. People of different ages, however, are experiencing its effects in different ways. Based on survey findings from 90 youth organisations from 48 countries, this policy brief outlines practical measures governments can take to design inclusive and fair recovery measures that leave no one behind.
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10/06/2020
In a rapidly changing environment, it is extremely difficult to quantify the exact magnitude of the impact of these measures on GDP growth, but is clear that they imply sharp contractions in the level of output, household spending, corporate investment and international trade. This note provides illustrative estimates of the initial direct impact of shutdowns, based on an analysis of sectoral output and consumption patterns across countries and an assumption of common effects within each sector and spending category in all countries.
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10/06/2020
This brief assesses migration policy reactions by OECD countries in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reviews the introduction and development of short-term policy responses from March to early June and identifies some of the possible forthcoming medium and longer-term challenges to migration management arising from this global health crisis.
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10/06/2020
This document is a resource to help governments and organisations use foresight in their policy making related to COVID-19 and its aftermath. It presents key uncertainties and possible future developments that could have short-and medium-term policy implications, a preliminary guide for using these elements, and an annotated selection of foresight pieces from a variety of authors.
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