October 20, 2020
8:00-9:20AM PDT
Webinar, United States

This webinar is part of IPA's RECOVR Webinar Series: Bringing Evidence to COVID-19 Policy Responses in the Global South. Together with our partners, we are using this series to rapidly share what we are learning with the policy and research community to support evidence-informed response efforts. More information about other events in the series is available here.

For a more detailed recap of this event, please see the blog post here.

On October 20, 2020, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA), and the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement (JDC) held the first in a webinar mini-series focused on the impacts of COVID-19 on forcibly displaced people in the Global South, and efforts by NGOs and governments to support them. The second webinar in this mini-series, "The Syrian Refugee Crisis: A View from Jordan," was held on December 20, 2020. The third webinar, "Evidence from High Frequency Phone Surveys," took place on February 23, 2021. The fourth webinar, "Economic Well-being and Integration," will take place on June 2, 2021.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists around the globe, refugees and others uprooted from their homes—due to conflict, economic hardship, climate change, and other pressures—must combat the dual hardships of disease and displacement. Already among the world’s most vulnerable, displaced individuals often have experienced violence and trauma first-hand, face limited access to services and have no home in which to safely wait out the virus.

During the October 20 webinar, Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale), Nandini Krishnan (World Bank), Dennis Egger (UC Berkeley), and Daniel Stein (IDinsight) shared early insights from rapid phone surveys being carried out with refugee populations in Kenya, Uganda, and Bangladesh. Carson Christiano, CEGA Executive Director moderated the discussion.

This webinar is part of the Berkeley Conversations SeriesIPA’s RECOVR Webinar Series: Bringing Evidence to COVID-19 Policy Responses in the Global South, and the JDC’s Event Series on Forced Displacement.

Watch the webinar recording below:



  • Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics at Yale University and faculty director of the Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale (Y-RISE), will present insights on the impacts of COVID-19 on refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. This work is joint with Paula López Peña (Yale), C. Austin Davis (Yale), and Shabib Raihan (IPA Bangladesh), and is based on the Cox’s Bazar Panel Survey (CBPS), a larger effort to track outcomes for a representative sample of refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar over time.
  • Nandini Krishnan, Senior Economist with the Poverty Global Practice at the World Bank, will present on the impacts the COVID-19 crisis is having on labor markets, wages, and household coping strategies for recently displaced Rohingya households and their host communities in Cox’s Bazar. This work, joint with Bank colleagues Maria Eugenia Genoni, Afsana Khan, Nethra Palaniswamy, and Wameq Raza, also builds on the CBPS implemented by Mobarak and team.
  • Dennis Egger, Economics PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley, will share insights from weekly phone surveys about the impacts of COVID-19 on a range of social and economic outcomes being carried out with a representative sample of refugees in Kenya. The project, joint with Theresa Beltramo (UNHCR), Utz Johann Pape (World Bank), Michael Walker (UC Berkeley), and CEGA Faculty co-Director Ted Miguel (UC Berkeley), is part of a larger effort to maintain the Kenya COVID-19 Economic Tracker.
  • Daniel Stein, Chief Economist at IDinsight, will discuss findings from a recent study with colleagues Emma Kimani, Heather Lanthorn, and Rico Bergemann on the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on inhabitants of the Kiryandongo refugee settlement in the Western Region of Uganda. Additionally, leveraging an ongoing randomized controlled trial (RCT) being carried out in partnership with the NGO GiveDirectly, Stein will report on the effectiveness of cash grants in mitigating the economic impacts of lockdowns.
  • Carson Christiano, CEGA Executive Director, will moderate the panel.