Civil registration systems as enablers of emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis: Namibian emergency income grant

In the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis, the Namibian government managed to distribute an emergency income grant (N$ 750) swiftly to 749,000 eligible citizens (out of a total population of 2.4 million). This initiative has been hailed nationally and regionally. The present article looks at the role of the Namibian civil registration system and identity (ID) system in this endeavour. An integrated system that the government systemically designed, built and implemented over the past 10 years has proved its value in supporting the government as it efficiently manages a large social protection scheme.