Tracking how people’s lives are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can enable policymakers to better understand the situation in their countries and make data-driven policy decisions. To respond to this need, IPA has developed the RECOVR survey—a panel survey that will facilitate comparisons, document real-time trends of policy concern, and inform decision-makers about the communities that are hardest-hit by the economic toll of the pandemic. In Zambia, the survey is being conducted in partnership with the Ministry of General Education (MoGE) and the Ministry of Health to inform the government’s policy responses. The RECOVR survey will provide MoGE with information about who is accessing distance learning; whether parents and caregivers can support students in their learning; and which mediums, content, and timings are optimal for distance learning efforts in Zambia. The survey will provide the Ministry of Health with information on the size of vulnerable populations (including information about children, the elderly, and pregnant women) to inform any potential nutrition supplementation responses, and other government responses, during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Ministry of General Education, Zambia; Ministry of Health, Zambia
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
June-July 2020
Implemented by IPA:
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; Improve women’s health, safety, and economic empowerment; Keep children safe, healthy, and learning; Promote peace and safety, and improve humanitarian response; Reduce COVID-19 transmission rates
Outcomes of Interest:
Some of the key questions the survey aims to answer at the global level include the size and scope of the disruptions to government service provision, work disruptions and type of disruptions, whether and how households with school-aged children are spending time on education since schools have been closed, extent to which people are skipping necessary healthcare, identification of populations most at risk of skipping necessary healthcare. The Zambia survey focuses on health symptoms and care, COVID-19 mitigation behavior, education, work and income, social safety net support received, food and market security (with a particular emphasis on food access and dietary variety), and financial health.
Data Collection Mode:
CATI (Computer-assisted telephone interviewing)
Data Collection Instruments:
External Website:
Results Status:
Key Findings:
Round 1:
  • Over 25% of respondents say they never stayed home in the past week.
  • More than 50% of employed individuals have earned less pay than they did in a typical week before the government closed schools.
  • Over 50% of respondents say they have had to deplete savings to pay for food, healthcare, or other expenses since February 2020.
  • Over 35% of respondents say they have had to limit portion sizes at meal times or reduce the number of meals at least once in the past week.
  • 50% of respondents report their primary school children are spending time on education at home, and over 35% of respondents report their secondary school children are spending time on education at home.