The expert webinar “International experience in COVID-19 response by countries and international organizations” hosted by the World Bank took place via Webex on April 22, 2020. The event embraced a wide range of participants from the state bodies (Accounts Chamber, the Ministry of Economic Development, Rosstat), expert and academic community (KPMG, Association of Specialists in Program and Policy Evaluation (ASOPP), RANEPA, Economic Expert Group) and NGOs (Donors Forum, charity fund “Volunteers to help orphan children”).
The meeting was devoted to the discussion on how countries and international organizations organize measures of support to population, economy and business during the coronavirus pandemic and how financial flows and aid distribution shall be monitored. Hans-Martin Boehmer, adjunct professor at Colombia University, former WB IEG manager and Yuriy Zaitsev, senior research officer at RANEPA made an intervention on international responses and shifts in policy priorities as a result of COVID-19. During the round of discussions the following comments and suggestions were expressed by the meeting participants:
∙ COVID-19 pandemic poses a real threat to the achievement of the SDGs by 2030. The pace of progress was already the issue of concern of the international community in the last year. New challenges are to come this year with the budgets constraints. Representatives of the state bodies suggested that the SDGs indicators should be revised and adjusted;
∙ Rosstat confirmed that the lack of relevant and in-time presented data due to coronavirus affect monitoring and evaluation issues;
∙ The Accounts Chamber noted the importance of gathering information and expertise from the foreign supreme audit institutions and the World Bank and identifying how to manage monitoring and audit in pandemic conditions;
∙ The expert community discussed how to monitor extra flows and disbursement and incorporate them into SDGs/ Russian National goals and how to adjust evaluation processes during the pandemic;
∙ NGOs deal with the decrease in the donations and express concern about openness of the big GONGO which receive large donations on coronavirus from the government.