Ecuador's Social Policy Response to Covid-19: Expanding Protection Under High Informality

This report examines Ecuador’s social policy response to mitigate the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects and protect vulnerable populations. It chronologically traces containment, closure policies, social policies and programmes put in place following the announcement of Covid-19 as a global pandemic. A combination of external constraints and domestic structures, i.e. informality and weak coordination, led to truncated efforts in the healthcare response, while persistent inequalities in access to technology and high levels of informality led to fragmented education, labour policies and social protection responses. The report zooms into the Family Protection Grant (Bono de Protección Familiar or BPF), a new social protection programme that covers informal workers, which captures the difficulties in reaching unregistered populations amid lockdown and containment measures.