Discussion paper

COVID-19’s Impact on Sub-National Governments

October 20, 2020

In emerging markets, urban centers feel the brunt of both the health and economic crises, putting subnational governments, or SNGs, front and center in the efforts to contain COVID-19. SNGs in emerging markets face significant challenges brought on by the pandemic, for example, significantly less use of public transit, dramatically lower sales tax revenue due to retail and tourism closures, and limited capacity to mount an effective health response. Low levels of preparedness compound these vulnerabilities.


  • Background
  • COVID-19’s impact on sub-national governments
  • Response to the crisis
  • Going forward