Low-income people are the quickest and hardest hit in the COVID-19-induced economic crisis, especially those living in urban centres and working in the informal sector. Many workers in the service sector such as restaurants and beauty parlours are either fired or sent home with unpaid leave. Home service providers such as maids and drivers are facing a similar fate. The agriculture sector is already reeling from the deep cut in the price of produce because of low demand and simultaneous increase in the cost of transporting the produce; we know that marginal and poor farmers are usually the hardest hit in these situations. Thus, returning migrants and their families are also likely to face immediate economic hardship. When faced with sudden income loss, these people desperately need support just for their sustenance. To support these people more effectively, it is important to understand the nature and extent of their vulnerabilities and the coping mechanisms they are deploying, and variations based on the demographic and occupational characteristics. This is our most urgent rapid research agenda. The government of Bangladesh is taking a number of measures, at a limited scale, to mitigate the economic crisis created by COVID-19, e.g. through emergency distribution of food. However, empirical estimates of the extent and type of support needed and the variations by demographic and occupational categories will help the government to make the best use of the limited resource and make sure that the most vulnerable people do not fall through the crack.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
April-June 2020
Implemented by IPA:
Implementing Organization:
Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD)
Impact Goals:
Build resilience and protect the financial health of families and individuals; Build resilient and adaptable businesses and employment opportunities; Improve social-safety net responses
Outcomes of Interest:
1) Understand the kind of economic shocks the poor and vulnerable people are facing, what coping mechanisms they are using, and whether there are systematic variations among different demographic and occupational groups; 2) Understand the kind of support they are getting, if any, and they need
Data Collection Mode:
CATI (Computer-assisted telephone interviewing)
External Website:
Results Status: