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Better Knowledge for an Effective COVID-19 Response


Latin America and the Caribbean accounts for over a quarter of the world’s total COVID-19 cases. The World Bank released a series of studies to provide better knowledge and guidance to countries for an effective COVID-19 response in the region.



Guidebook: Population-Level, National Testing Strategies for COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean

October 2020

Partners: McGill University and funding from Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF)

Vaccines and testing strategies are two sides of the same coin: necessary investments to rebuild trust in societies, enable schools and the economy to operate safely and boost inclusive economic growth so that countries can reverse the increase in poverty inflicted by the pandemic. To minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic, countries need to implement proactive preventive strategies to mitigate transmission and allow for economic recovery. 

The World Bank released on October 29, 2020 a practical guide for countries to develop and implement proactive population-based testing strategies. The guide provides a practical framework for the development and implementation of robust, population-level national testing strategies for COVID-19. Experiences of countries worldwide hold invaluable lessons for policy makers rolling out national proactive testing strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Download the report here.

::: Other resources :::

Blog: Testing, Testing, Testing: An essential strategy for public health, vaccine deployment and economic reactivation during COVID-19



Study: Comparing Policy Responses to COVID-19 among Countries in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Region

December 2020

Partners: North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and funding from Korea-World Bank Partnership Facility (KWPF)

This study examines COVID-19 policy interventions in ten LAC countries - Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Trinidad and Tobago - and compares them to the response in two high-performing jurisdictions - South Korea and Uruguay. Emergency preparedness and response governance, timeliness and stringency of measures, and health care sector response to COVID-19 in selected countries are examined against comparator countries.  Overall, this study provides five key considerations for governments to strengthen their response to this ongoing pandemic: 1) ensure adequate supply and distribution of personal protective equipment; 2) allocate resources emphasize prevention and to shift to lower cost interventions where possible; 3) support adherence to public health interventions with emergency safety net measures; 4) ensure appropriate measures for testing and tracing; and 5) strengthen scientific leadership and clear communication with the public.

Download the report here.

::: Other resources :::

Blog: Accelerating mutual learning through the COVID-19 pandemic





Michele Gragnolati

Manager in Health, Nutrition and Population

Jeremy Veillard

Senior Health Specialist

Aakash Mohpal

Senior Economist