Brian Webster

Brian Webster joined CGD in December of 2020 and supports the research of CGD president emeritus and senior fellow Nancy Birdsall, senior fellow Alan Gelb, and fellow Anit Mukherjee. He earned an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University SAIS and a BS in Economics from Fitchburg State University.

Webster previously worked as a research assistant with Johns Hopkins University SAIS examining the impact of artificial intelligence on relative national power. He has also interned with the US Senate Committee on Finance.

Posts by Brian Webster

Delivering social assistance during COVID with a “digital-first” approach: Lessons from India

This blog discusses India’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic through PMGKY—a major social protection package. It dives into the program’s implementation in India, analyzes its performance, enlists the challenges, and offers lessons from India’s experience in implementing social security programs during such crises.

Social assistance and information in the initial phase of the pandemic: Lessons from a household survey in India

India’s early response to the COVID-19 pandemic included several measures, including a nationwide lockdown, an information campaign, and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)—a major social protection package. This paper explores the implementation of PMGKY based on a household survey conducted 4-6 weeks after its launch. The study also highlights the critical need to increase the spread of smartphones across the population.