The Government of India initiated a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 25, later extended by two weeks. This lockdown mandated the closure of nearly all factories. The severe travel restrictions imposed during this lockdown stranded thousands of migrant workers away from home. Remittances are a vital source of income for the families of these migrants. This lockdown has disrupted income flow, likely producing a large economic shock for these households.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April-June 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
From preliminary findings from the first round of survey in April 2020, researchers find that proportion of workers who remit has decreased to single digits, despite the fact they had received their salaries during the lockdown.

This study will deliver cash grants to female microenterprise owners in Dandora, Kenya during the COVID-19 outbreak. Researchers are conducting a randomized controlled trial to study the impact of unconditional cash transfers on economic outcomes both during and after the crisis. The research team will collect information about expectations, beliefs, and impact of any potential government policy responses on business outcomes.

Partners:
Ford Family Program (Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Note Dame University), Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)
Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation
Study Timeline:
April-August 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
We deliver one month’s average profit to a randomly selected group of female microenterprise owners in the Kenyan slum of Dandora, just preceding with the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases. Firm profit, inventory spending, and food expenditures all increase. The transfers simultaneously cause a re-opening of previously closed businesses. PPE spending and precautionary management practices increase to mitigate this effect, but only among those who perceive COVID-19 as a major health risk. Cash transfers can assist in economic stabilization during a pandemic, but the resulting increase in business activity requires policies to inform and encourage mitigation.
  • J-PAL

Researchers are conducting a series of phone surveys to study the economic, social and security impacts of COVID-19 among informal sector vendors in Lagos, Africa’s largest city (with a population of more than 24 million). The survey capitalizes on prior work with a representative sample of market vendors, making rapid data collection at a distance feasible among this otherwise hard-to-reach population.

Study Type:
Pilot
Study Timeline:
April 2020-December 2021
Results Status:
Results
Results:
Final results are forthcoming 
Key Findings:
Round 1 (May 2020 survey) Results Brief:
  • The economic impact of COVID-19 has been especially severe for members of the informal economy.
  • Risk and resilience among this population are unequal.
  • Identity, not poverty, is the most important driver of risk and resilience among vendors in Lagos.
  • The crisis has also increased social polarization among groups.
Washington Post article: "How the coronavirus pandemic is fueling ethnic hatred."

This project is using high-frequency phone surveys to dynamically track the impact of COVID-19 over a three-month period. Researchers already have baseline data on a sample of 1,250 households randomly selected from rural villages in Western Uganda. These baseline surveys were conducted during the start of March 2020, before any restrictions began or cases of COVID-19 occurred in Uganda.

Researchers:
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
May-August 2020
Results Status:
Results
  • Young Lives logo

Young Lives longitudinal survey began in 2001, with two cohorts, one born in 2000 (8,000 children) and one born in 1994 (4,000 children). Young Lives had planned to undertake a sixth round of quantitative fieldwork in 2020, now replaced with a Computer-Assisted-Telephone-Survey (CATI) comprising three phone calls. 

Partners:
Academic partners in the four study countries 
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
May 2020-January 2021
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
The survey found impacts on many aspects of young peoples lives, with a stark contrast between Peru (heavily hit by COVID-19) and Vietnam (relatively unaffected), though in all countries economic crisis has affected life. There was some bounce-back in employment and mental health between Aug/Sept and Nov/Dec calls, except in Ethiopia, where conflict may also be a factor. See individual country briefings in the "Results" section.

This project is studying the prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms in refugee and host communities and their correlates with current and pre-COVID-19 living conditions. Researchers administered a phone-based survey to a sample of 909 households in Cox's Bazar which was drawn from a household panel representative of Rohingya refugees and the host population. Researchers conducted a symptoms checklist to assess COVID-19 risk based on the WHO guidelines.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April 11-17, 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
 
  • Overall, COVID-19 symptoms were highly prevalent in Cox’s Bazar, particularly in refugee camps.
  • While most respondents reported good respiratory hygiene knowledge and practices, attendance at religious and social gatherings threatened to accelerate the spread of the disease.
  • The results suggest that social influence campaigns encouraging people to share information about COVID-19 and encourage others to adhere to public health recommendations may be needed.
  • IPA Logo

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.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
May 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
 
  • 10% of respondents say someone in their household delayed or skipped needed healthcare visits since mid-March. Over 60% of cancellations were out of concern for COVID-19.
  • More than 40% of respondents say they have had to limit portion sizes at meal times or reduce the number of meals in the past week.
  • 29% of respondents say they would not be able to find 500 cedis to pay for an emergency.
  • While 65% of respondents report working in February, 41% of households report working in the past 7 days. Of those still working, 41% earned less and 29% worked fewer hours in the past week.
  • Respondents report that 64% of primary and 57% of secondary school children are spending time on education at home since schools were closed.
  • IPA Logo

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.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
May 2020-November 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
Round 1:
  • Forty-three percent of respondents reported that someone in their household skipped necessary healthcare since the start of the National Quarantine.
  • Over half of respondents say they have reduced their number of meals in the last week.
  • Over half of respondents say they would not be able to find COP 1,000,000 (around USD$270) to pay for an emergency.
  • Half of all respondents who worked at all in February are still working. Of those still working, 20 percent earned less and 15 percent worked fewer hours in the past week.
  • The vast majority of households living with school-aged children report that those children are still spending time on school.
Round 2:
  • Twenty percent of respondents have tried to take a COVID-19 test and eighty percent would get a vaccine. The proportion of respondents who think they are at risk for COVID-19 and who are taking self-protection measures increased from Round 1 to Round 2.
  • Although more than one third of respondents have had to limit their food portions or number of meals in the last week, the proportion of respondents taking these measures has decreased from Round 1.
  • About sixty four percent of respondents reported that their debts had increased during the quarantine, with informal workers more likely to report an increase.
  • Respondents with formal employment report maintaining their jobs in May and August in higher proportions than respondents with informal employment.
  • Between thirty five percent and fifty percent of respondents (based on children's education levels) said they would not send their children back to educational institutions in the second half of 2020.
  • More than forty percent of children (6-18 years) have developed additional anxieties or concerns since the beginning of quarantine.
  • Seven percent of respondents who live with a partner report being more concerned about physical violence between partners since the beginning of quarantine.
Round 3:
  • Over the course of the national quarantine, a higher proportion of respondents reported an increase in adult mental health symptoms, but this proportion declined from 45 percent to 26 percent of respondents after the national quarantine.
  • The proportion of respondents who cut back on portions in the week prior to the survey dropped to 37 percent in November, compared to at least 50 percent in March and August.
  • Forty eight percent of respondents spent their savings to pay for basic expenses, 16 percent borrowed money they were unsure if they could pay back on time, and 16 percent  skipped required payments.
  • Respondents in formally employed households are more than twice as likely (54 percent) as those with informal employment (23 percent) to earn the same amount of money since February.
  • The percentage of respondents who say they will attend college, university, or technical school in the first half of 2021 increased significantly.
  • 33 percent  of respondents have the perception that efforts to recruit children or adolescents by criminal or armed groups have increased.
  • Conflicts and arguments within the household between romantic partners increased during the quarantine for 22 percent of respondents, but decreased after the quarantine to 17 percent.
  Policy Briefs: The following briefs were developed to provide further policy analysis on key topics in the RECOVR survey (all briefs are in Spanish):  

COVID-19 has devastated the livelihoods of millions of people across the globe. To get a snapshot of the effect of COVID-19 on BRAC’s program participants, BRAC International (BI) conducts two rapid assessments in nine BI countries between the first and third weeks of April 2020. A total 1,019 respondents in the first round and 2,475 respondents in the second round were interviewed over the phone using a short and structured questionnaire.

Partners:
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April 1-19, 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
While most of the respondents across all countries reported either a little or a lot of reduction in income due to disruption in economic activities, people engaged in business, and casual labor are among the most affected. High risk of food insecurity is evident as a large proportion of respondents across all countries reported a reduction in food consumption due to a combination of income loss, depletion in food stock, and price hike induced by COVID-19.

Pakistan has the world's sixth largest population, estimated at 220 million. For a country of this size, public opinion polling offers an efficient method of ascertaining the views and perceptions of the public in a meaningful way, especially during a crisis. How is a normal Pakistani household coping with the economic loss arising out of the COVID-19 crisis? Are they listening to the public health messages being communicated to them, and and acting on the advice?

Researchers:
Partners:
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
March 2020-
Results Status:
Results

People tend to underestimate the speed at which exponential processes unfold. This is especially relevant in the early stages of an infectious disease outbreak.

Researchers:
Study Type:
Pilot
Study Timeline:
June 2020
Results Status:
Results
  • BIGD
  • BRAC

The ready-made garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh is facing a serious crisis because of COVID-19, with a virtual freeze on new business and mass cancellation of existing orders. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has been appealing to the buyers to continue ordering.

Study Type:
Pilot
Study Timeline:
April-June 2020
Results Status:
Results
  • BIGD
  • BRAC

As the onslaught of COVID-19 is expected to worsen in the coming weeks and months in Bangladesh, the citizenry is taking preparations in various capacities. However, as everything is happening very fast, there has not been enough time to mobilize resources, and one key gap is observed in the area of targeted, customised communications that takes into account local realities and customs.

Study Type:
Pilot
Study Timeline:
April-May 2020
Results Status:
Results
  • BIGD
  • BRAC

Effective responses to COVID-19 depend on citizens cooperating with the government in the lockdown, testing and treatment regimes. With multiple cases of defiance against the government-imposed restrictions on travel and mass gatherings in the earlier stages of the COVID-19 crisis in Bangladesh, ensuring citizen cooperation has continued to pose a huge challenge.

Researchers:
Study Type:
Pilot
Study Timeline:
April-May 2020
Results Status:
Results

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.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April-June 2020
Results Status:
Results

We are collecting and making publicly available data from a large-scale online survey about COVID-related behaviors, beliefs, perceptions, mental health, and more, covering respondents from more than 170 countries. The data was collected via snowball sampling starting March 20, 2020 through a survey instrument that was translated by volunteers into 69 languages.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
March 2020-
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
First, many respondents indicate that their country’s citizens and government’s response was insufficient. Second, respondents’ perception of an insufficient public and government response and handling is associated with lower mental well-being. Third, researchers exploit time variation in country-level lockdown announcements, both around the world and through an event-study in the UK, and find that strong government actions—e.g.,announcing a nationwide lockdown—were related to an improvement in respondents’ views of their fellow citizens and government, and to better mental well-being. These findings suggest that policy-makers may not only need to consider how their decisions affect the spread of COVID-19, but also how such choices influence the mental well-being of their population.
  • Population Council

Indigenous communities are often socially and economically marginalized which makes them particularly vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. The Population Council has a longstanding partnership with indigenous communities in Guatemala through the Abriendo Oportunidades (AO) program. To understand the knowledge, perspectives, and needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will conduct key informant interviews with indigenous community leaders and frontline workers.

Researchers:
Angel del Valle, Hannah Briggs, Benjamin ChangAiken Chew, Brian Medina, Gabriela MuñozThoai D. Ngo, Elizabeth Vásquez, Corinne White
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April-December 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
Key Findings from Round 1: 
  • 100 percent of respondents are aware of COVID-19, and 74 percent know that anyone can get infected.
  • Knowledge of at-risk groups and major symptoms are high. However, more than half incorrectly identified children as particularly at risk and there was lower awareness of difficulty breathing and fatigue as symptoms.
  • Frontline health workers and municipal officers had the highest perceived risk of being infected with COVID-19, while community leaders, heads of household, and young indigenous women who are former adolescent girl group mentors had the lowest perceived risk. Teachers fell in the middle.
  • Respondents stated that TV programs, followed by the President’s announcements and TV advertisements were the most trusted sources of COVID-19 information—a majority get information from TV and radio shows.
  • There is mixed knowledge on measures to prevent infection—more awareness on handwashing and masks, compared to social distancing. Indigenous community members may face challenges in adhering to promoted sanitation and hygiene and social distancing guidelines due to a lack of personal water sources, the expense of hand sanitizer, and single-room households.
  • Key informants are most worried about infecting other people, followed by COVID-19's potential deadly impact and its impact on livelihoods.

The COVID-19 crisis may impact wholesale and retail businesses in Nigeria and other developing countries in myriad ways. While lockdown measures are in place, many are disallowed from operating their shops. Even after strict lockdowns are lifted, however, they may continue to be affected through disruptions of the supply chain both upstream and downstream.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April 2020-
Results Status:
Results

This project examines the economic impact of COVID-19 lockdown policies in Jordan. It focuses on the distributional impacts across vulnerable segments of society, including refugees and informal workers. The methodology is unique in that it merges a bimonthly panel survey among 4,000 respondents with high-frequency cellphone metadata for the universe of users on one of Jordan's largest telecommunications companies.

Study Type:
Quasi-experimental Analysis
Study Timeline:
2020-2022
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
Preliminary Results (November 2020):
  • The unemployed share of the adult population in Jordan increased from 7% to 16% during the lockdown that lasted from 18 March to 15 April 2020. The unemployment share improved to 11% by September 2020, falling short of the pre-lockdown level.
  • Wage earnings decreased by 42% of pre-pandemic baseline levels on average during lockdown. These partially recovered after the easing of lockdown restrictions but remained 19% below their baseline.
  • About half of workers faced some difficulty buying food during lockdown. Even afterwards, about 10% of working respondents skipped meals or reduced portions. Borrowing and spending savings were the two most popular financial coping methods.
  • Low wage workers and refugees earned only a small fraction of their pre-lockdown earnings during restrictions. Less educated workers also faced steep declines in earnings and hours during lockdown. Highly educated and high wage service workers saw relatively larger reductions in hours worked after lockdown compared with other workers, but smaller reductions in earnings.
  • Lockdown restrictions implemented on 17 March reduced mobility, and more so for the rich. When measuring the number of trips taken per day using mobile phone meta-data, we find the number of trips taken within a day fell on average by 57% to between 1-2 per day, and more so for wealthy individuals living in high-rent neighbourhoods. The impacts emerged with the first case of COVID-19 in Jordan and persisted, with curfews having large impacts on mobility.
 
  • PAD

Informational deficits constrain the ability of governments, service-providers and funders to make evidence-based decisions about how best to respond to the evolving needs of rural populations, and challenges to food security in developing countries, associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April 2020-February 2021
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
 
  • Farmers report a decrease in labor activity, including not being allowed to work on their or others' fields. However, most farmers report being able to purchase the inputs that they need, such as fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides. 
  • Farmers appear relatively optimistic about agricultural outputs, with regards to expected harvest amounts and selling prices. 
  • Farmers report several challenges to food security, particularly citing high prices of staple foods. 
  • Farmers are aware of key symptoms and prevention methods. The main concern cited is overwhelmingly contracting COVID (either self or a household member). 

Pages