An Assessment of the Impact of COVID-19 Responses on MSMEs in the Informal Sector: Evidence from Commonwealth Countries in Africa


Amrita Saha
Evert-Jan Quak
Marco Carreras


This paper summarises current policy responses and groups them into five key areas: health and safety measures; welfare support; responses on taxes and fees; finance and credit measures; and structural policies. It then proposes a simple COVID-19 Response for Informal Sector (CRIS) Index that combines information on four indicators (breadth, access, cover and adequacy) for each policy area, based on announced measures, as well as the existing scenario in-country, allowing for systematic comparisons across the countries. Finally, it recommends a combination of short-term responses and medium- to long-term measures that are needed to support recovery for informal enterprises and workers.

TCBP 2020-01 cover



10 September 2020