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Korea-WBG Partnership on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Webinar Series

April 26, 2022


Korea webinar

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  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact globally, pushing millions of people into poverty and economies into recession. Although the East Asia Pacific (EAP) region was the first to be affected, it was also one of the regions that responded quickly. Several EAP countries have received World Bank Group (WBG) financing and policy advice to help them respond to the pandemic and other human development challenges arising from it. Many relevant experiences and lessons on COVID-19 preparedness and response have emerged that can be shared not only within EAP but also in other countries.

    Through the generous support from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of The Republic of Korea, this knowledge partnership seeks to document and share those experiences to help inform current and future pandemic preparedness and response. The region has also focused on resilient recovery to mitigate the socioeconomic challenges that have arisen from the pandemic and build back better through innovation and climate-friendly approaches. Five countries from the region—Fiji, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, and the Republic of Korea—will collaborate to share their preparedness and response lessons. Each country will prepare in-depth case studies, guidance, and policy notes, addressing topics including contact tracing, lockdown measures, and vaccination.

    Jointly organized by the World Bank Group Korea office and the Health Nutrition and Population Global Practice, this webinar series will begin with experts from Korea and Mongolia who will share key findings from their country case studies. A panelist of experts will reflect on the lessons learnt and how we can provide assistance to developing countries on effective methods to prepare and respond to COVID-19 as well as other pandemics we will face in the future.

  • Learning from Korea and Mongolia’s experience 


    APRIL 26TH (EDT) 8:00PM – 9:30PM / APRIL 27TH (KST) 9:00AM – 10:30AM



    April 26th 8:00PM(EDT)

    April 27th 9:00AM(KST)

    Vikram Rajan, Senior Health Specialist

    Health Nutrition and Population Global Practice, World Bank  

    Opening Remarks

    April 26th 8:05PM(EDT)

    April 27th 9:05AM(KST)

    Jun Ho Shin, Director of Development Finance Bureau

    Ministry of Economy and Finance Republic of Korea

    Keynote Speech

    April 26th 8:10PM(EDT)

    April 27th 9:10AM(KST)

    World Bank COVID-19 Response

    Daniel Dulitzky, Regional Director for Human Development, World Bank

    Country Presentations

    April 26th 8:20PM(EDT)

    April 27th 9:20AM(KST)

    Korea Case Study

    Lee Taejin, Professor at the Seoul of Public Health, Seoul National University

    Mongolia Case Study

    Tumurbat Byamba, Technical Lead at the Anagaakh Ukhaany Mergejiltnuudiin Academy

    Panel Discussion

    April 26th 8:50PM(EDT)

    April 27th 9:50AM(KST)


    Aparnaa Somanathan, Practice Manager

    Health Nutrition and Population Global Practice, World Bank  


    Soonman Kwon, President of Korea Health Industry Development Institute

    Ochirbat Batbayar, Adviser to Minister of Health of Mongolia

    Gabriel M. Leung, Dean of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong

    Closing Remarks

    April 26th 9:25PM(EDT)

    April 27th 10:25AM(KST)

    Jason Allford, Special Representative

    World Bank Group Korea office


  • Jun Ho Shin

    Jun Ho Shin

    Director of Development Finance Bureau, Ministry of Economy and Finance

    Dr. Shin, Jun Ho is a Korean government official with extensive work experience in the areas of international development, public finance, and regional trade. He currently serves as the Director of Development Finance Division in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Korea. He has worked in government sectors and an international organization, such as the Office of the President, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Planning and Budget of Korea and the United Nations. He has a Ph.D. in Development Administration from National Institute of Development Administration in Thailand. He has obtained his two Masters’ degrees from Seoul National University in Korea and National Chengchi University in Taiwan and did his undergraduate program in Korea University in Korea.

    Daniel Dulitzky

    Daniel Dulitzky

    Regional Director for Human Development, East Asia and the Pacific Region, World Bank

    Daniel Dulitzky is Regional Director for Human Development in the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. He is responsible for overseeing the World Bank program in Health, Education, and Social Protection and Jobs in East Asia and the Pacific. His top priorities are to: (i) provide strategic vision and direction to the human development team, (ii) ensure that World Bank regional and country activities in human development are informed by global strategies; and (iii) encourage and support innovation in both knowledge work and lending. Mr. Dulitzky, an Argentinian National, joined the Bank in 1999. He has since held various positions in Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and Caribbean Regions. His most recent assignment was that of Practice Manager for Health in Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously he was Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia. During his time at the Bank, he has also contributed to significant reform programs in health, social protection and education in numerous countries. Mr. Dulitzky holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    Aparnaa Somanathan

    Aparnaa Somanathan

    Practice Manager for Health, Nutrition and Population for East Asia and the Pacific Region, World Bank

    Aparnaa Somanathan is the Practice Manager for Health, Nutrition and Population for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank. She has worked on health systems strengthening issues for over fifteen years in a range of countries including Bangladesh, China, Estonia, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. She has also worked extensively on the implications of population ageing on health financing and service delivery. Aparnaa read economics at Cambridge University and holds a doctoral degree in International Health Economics and Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health. Aparnaa is the lead author of the 21014 World Bank publication titled, “Moving Towards Universal Coverage of Social Health Insurance in Vietnam: Assessment and Options”. She is also the co-author of: “Financing Health Care in the East Asia and Pacific: Best Practices and Remaining Challenges” with Jack Langenbrunner; and the publication, “Live Long and Prosper: Ageing in the East Asia and Pacific region” with Philip O’Keefe and others.

    Jason Allford

    Jason Allford

    Special Representative/Country Manager, World Bank Group Korea office

    Jason Allford is the Special Representative of World Bank Group (WBG)’s Korea Office. In this role, Mr. Allford oversees the office as a global hub on innovation and technology for sustainable development, bringing lessons from Korea’s development experience – particularly in relation to innovation, technology, and green growth – and applying them to the World Bank’s operational work in other World Bank member countries. An Australian national, Mr. Allford joined the Australian Government in 1994, focusing on macroeconomic analysis, forecasting and fiscal policy. He previously worked at the World Bank Group from 2014 to 2018, representing 15 countries from Asia and the Pacific including Korea at the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. He has also worked as an adviser on fiscal policy to governments in Africa, East Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Mr. Allford holds a master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Tasmania.

    Vikram Rajan

    Vikram Rajan

    Senior Health Specialist, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice, World Bank

    Dr. Vikram Rajan has almost two decades of experience as a physician, as a manager in the private sector and as a Senior Health Specialist in the Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) practice of the World Bank (WB). He is presently based in the World Bank in Washington D.C. and works on countries in the East Asia and Pacific Region and Africa Region. He has been responsible for providing strategic vision as well as technical and operational insights to design, fund and provide implementation support to complex programs and projects in both low- and middle-income settings. He also leads and works on various knowledge products including economic and sector reports, technical assistance, policy notes and dialogue, impact evaluations and as faculty on capacity building courses. His specific areas of experience and interest are in health systems strengthening, specifically service delivery, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), Quality Assurance, public sector management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Information Technology for Development, and alternate service delivery mechanisms. He has also worked extensively on areas of reproductive and child health and non-communicable diseases. He also works multi-sectorally with different global practices to influence health and nutrition outcomes. Prior to working for the World Bank, he worked for C-SAM, a technology company that enables secure transactions over mobile phones and the Internet and headed the global Business Development Team. He also worked for GE Capital, India as a Six-Sigma Black Belt, and as an operations manager on one of GE’s leading Health Insurance products. He is a Medical Doctor and holds a MBA from the Indian Institute of Management.

    Taejin Lee

    Taejin Lee

    Professor of Health Economics at Graduate School of Public HealthSeoul National University

    Tae-Jin Lee is a professor of health economics at Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University (SNU). His research area includes economic analysis of health care systems, especially focusing on health financing and financial protection, as well as economic evaluation of various interventions in health care sector. He has served as an advisor to the Korean government in health policy, and currently is a member of Pharmaceutical Benefit Advisory Committee for the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare. He holds a PhD in health services management from the University of Manchester in the U.K. He studied economics and public health at SNU for the first degree and a master’s degree, respectively. He was a Takemi Fellow in International Health at Harvard School of Public Health twice in 2006-2007 and 2013-2014.


    Tumurbat Byamba

    Technical Lead, Anagaakh Ukhaany Mergejiltnuudiin Academy

    Dr.Tumurbat Byamba, is one of the executive members of Anagaakh Ukhaany Mergejiltnuudiin Academy. She is a medical doctor, who is specialized in healthcare management through learning postgraduate degree programs and working at management level positions of both government and nongovernment organizations in the health system of Mongolia. She is a contributing to the team in areas of (i) conducting health policy and system research and studies focused on emerging and evolving aspects of the system in order to accumulate evidence synthesis for evidence-based policy making for the people’s health and (ii) organizing diverse training programs and projects for all medical professionals including self-development, online and other combined modes of courses. She holds a degree of Master in Healthcare Service Management from University of Birmingham, UK, and a Ph.D. in Management from University of Finance and Economics, Mongolia.

    Soonman Kwon

    Soonman Kwon

    President, Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI)

    Before leading the KHIDI, which allocates and manages all (government) R&D for the health sector in Korea, Prof Kwon was Professor and Former Dean of the School of Public Health, Seoul National University (SNU). He received the Excellence in Education award of Seoul National University in 2020. He has held visiting positions at the Harvard School of Public Health, London School of Economics, University of Toronto, University of Tokyo, Peking University, and University of Bremen. He was the Chief of the Health Sector Group in the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in 2016-2017. He is the president of the Korean Society of Health Policy and Management and has served as president of the Korean Health Economic Association, Korean Association of Schools of Public Health, and the Korean Gerontological Society. He holds PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1993) and taught at the University of Southern California School of Public Policy until 1996.

    O. Batbayer

    O. Batbayer

    Adviser to Minister of Health and Member of Mongolian SAGE on COVID-19

    Ochirbat Batbayar is the adviser to Health Minister and a member of Scientific Advisory Group of Experts on COVID-19 in Mongolia. Before joining the Ministry of Health, he has served as an executive director of Transparency International Mongolia to build anticorruption coalition with a focus on human right. He also has experiences in the field of medicine, leading the implementation of multiple programs for prevention and treatment of tuberculosis as a part of Mongolian Health Initiative NGO, Mongolian TB Professionals Association, and National Center of Communicable Disease.

    Gabriel Leung

    Gabriel Leung

    Dean of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong

    Gabriel Leung is the fortieth Dean of Medicine (2013-), inaugural Helen and Francis Zimmern Professor in Population Health and holds the Chair of Public Health Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. He was Hong Kong's first Under Secretary for Food and Health (2008-11) and fifth Director of the Chief Executive's Office (2011-2) in government. A specialist in public health medicine by training, Leung is one of the region’s leading epidemiologists and global health exponents. His research defined the epidemiology of three novel viral epidemics, namely SARS in 2003, H7N9 influenza in 2013 and most recently COVID-19. In parallel, he leads several large-scale longitudinal cohorts, tracking tens of thousands of lives to study the fundamental causes of non-communicable conditions and to explain the health impacts of contemporary social phenomena. He led Hong Kong government's response against the 2009 influenza pandemic. He has been an official adviser to the Hong Kong SAR and Chinese Central People’s Governments, as well as to numerous overseas jurisdictions and international agencies including the World Health Organisation. He serves as a Governor of The Wellcome Trust and is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine.


  • Date and Time (MST): Thursday , April 27th from 8:00am to 9:30am
  • Date and Time (KST) : Thursday, April 27th from 9:00am to 10:30am
  • Date and Time (EDT) : Wednesday, April 26th from 8:00pm to 9:30pm
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