• 60 Decibels Logo

The research team has collected data on the impacts of COVID-19 as experienced by customers of social enterprises around the world. This includes customers of off-grid energy companies (thanks to support from GOGLA and the Rockefeller Foundation) and, clients of microfinance institutions (thanks to support from SPTF and their members) and numerous other social enterprises who have agreed to contribute their data anonymously towards this aggregation.

Researchers:
Partners:
Research conducted by 60 Decibels Key Funders: Rockefeller Foundation, the GOGLA Consumer Protection Initiative, among others
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
April 2020 - December 2020
Results Status:
Results

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 Mexico through the "Abriendo Futuros" program.

Researchers:
Isabel Vieitez, Silvana Larrea, Fabiola Romero, Ludivine Cicolella
Partners:
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
June 2020-
Results Status:
No Results Yet

Due to social distancing measures and school closures—and given the challenge to reach rural students—the Ministry of Education of Peru developed Aprendo en Casa (AeC), a multi-platform remote education strategy. Results of a survey aimed at monitoring its take-up suggest that less than half of homes that access AeC through radio are satisfied with it, and nearly half of parents report they require more support in order to help their children.

Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation
Study Timeline:
June 2020-April 2021
Results Status:
No Results Yet

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.

Partners:
Government of Mexico City
Study Type:
Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
June-July 2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
 
  • More than 40% of respondents report that they perceive their household to be at risk of contracting COVID-19. For those who do not feel at risk, 70% of respondents report following preventive measures.
  • More than 50% of employed individuals have been paid less (earned less) than in a typical week before schools closed.
  • More than 30% of respondents say they have exhausted their savings to cover essential expenses since February 2020.
  • More than 60% of respondents indicate that they cannot afford the amount of food they used to buy before the pandemic because household income has decreased or because the price of food is now too high.
  • More than 90% of respondents say that primary and secondary school-age children in their household have continued educational activities from home.
  • 45% of respondents perceive that insecurity in their neighborhoods has increased since the beginning of the pandemic.

School closures resulting from lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19 threaten to result in learning loss for students, particularly young children in vulnerable contexts. In order to evaluate the short-term impacts of distance learning efforts, researchers need to be able to effectively assess student learning outcomes remotely.

Study Type:
Other
Results Status:
No Results Yet

Lockdowns and social distancing strategies in response to COVID-19 threaten small businesses, undermining a critical income source for vulnerable populations. Sudden economic hardship, psychosocial risks, and uncertainty about the future trigger stress and anxiety. Imagery could help as a tool to boost resilience in response to the pandemic by enabling individuals to recognize its temporariness, innovate, mentally simulate contingency plans, and practice steps to recover.

Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation
Study Timeline:
August 2018-July 2021
Results Status:
No Results Yet
  • 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.
  • IPA
  • Peru MIMP

Researchers are implementing two rounds of phone-based surveys to a large sample of couples in urban Peru to: (i) understand the impact on IPV and intra-household conflict of restrictions instituted to contain the spread of COVID-19; (ii) characterize couples at heightened risk of IPV as a result of these measures in order to increase understanding of risk factors for IPV and inform the government’s response to IPV by helping them target services to couples most in need; and (iii) evaluate th

Researchers:
Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation, Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
May-August 2020
Results Status:
No Results Yet
  • 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
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.
  • IPA

In order to limit the spread of COVID-19, governments in Latin America have adopted measures to increase social distancing, including closing schools and limiting mobility. Ministries of Education in the region have transitioned to distance education programs, with caregivers playing a key role in accompanying the learning process at home. However, parents may lack the knowledge and skills to provide an effective support to their children.

Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation
Results Status:
No Results Yet
  • IPA

The coronavirus pandemic imposes not only a global health threat but also an economic shutdown in many countries. Such a shock poses a particularly large risk for the poor in developing countries who often have highly vulnerable income sources, limited savings, and a lack of adequate safety nets to fall back on.

Researchers:
Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation, Descriptive / Surveillance
Study Timeline:
May-June 2020
Results Status:
No Results Yet
  • 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.

More than 1.5 billion students have to stay at home due to COVID-19 school closures, more than 90 percent of total enrolled learners (UNESCO, 04.01.2020). To ensure learning continuity, students have to study at home. However, it is unclear how the students respond to this challenge and if there is a way to improve their lives. Therefore, we conducted a COVID-19 Rapid Response study among current high school students in Ecuador.

Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation
Study Timeline:
September 2019-May 2020
Results Status:
Results
Results:
Asanov, I., Flores, F., Mckenzie, D., Mensmann, M., & Schulte, M. (2021). Remote-learning, Time-Use, and Mental Health of Ecuadorian High-School Students during the COVID-19 Quarantine. World Development, 138, 105225. Published paper (gated)
Key Findings:
 
  • The data show that 59 percent of students have both an internet connection at home and a computer or tablet, 74 percent are engaging in some online or telelearning, and 86 percent have done some school work on the last weekday.
  • Detailed time-use data show most students have established similar daily routines around education, although gender and wealth differences emerge in time spent working and on household tasks.
  • Closure of schools and social isolation are the two main problems students say they face, and while the majority are mostly happy, 16 percent have mental health scores that indicate depression.

This project studies whether a youth empowerment program in Bolivia can reduce the prevalence of violence against girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. The program offers training in soft skills and technical skills, sex education, mentoring, and job-finding assistance. To measure the effects of the program, the study conducts a randomized control trial with 600 vulnerable adolescents. Violence is measured with both direct self-report questions and list experiments.

Partners:
Study Type:
Randomized Evaluation
Study Timeline:
2019-2020
Results Status:
Results
Key Findings:
The results indicate that seven months after its completion, the program increased girls' earnings and decreased violence targeting females. This finding suggests that empowerment programs can reduce the level of violence experienced by young females during high-risk periods.
  • IPA
  • J-PAL

In the sprawling informal peripheries of cities throughout the developing world, enhancing state capacity may be critical for an effective COVID response, and hence to macro-level public-health, economic, and political outcomes. In Medellín, Colombia, most neighborhoods are occupied by one of roughly 400 criminal gangs. The researchers have a three-year ongoing study in the city dedicated to understanding and reshaping state and gang rule.

Study Type:
Qualitative Research, Quasi-experimental Analysis, Randomized Evaluation
Study Timeline:
April - December 2020
Results Status:
Results
Results:
Surveying every low- and middle-income neighborhood in Medellin, the researchers find: Most welfare support to civilians came from state authorities rather than the gangs. Overall, state authorities played by far the largest role in enforcing quarantine rules. A small number of gangs, however, were highly involved in providing welfare and enforcing quarantine rules in their territories. These rare gang pandemic responses were relatively idiosyncratic. Whereas normal pre-pandemic gang rule is associated with a range of neighborhood characteristics, pandemic gang rule is not. Moreover, gang enforcement of pandemic lockdown or provision of services is almost uncorrelated with pre-pandemic levels of gang rule. The researchers speculate that personal choices of the gangs and their leaders may have dominated in the first weeks of COVID-19.

IPA is providing technical support to the Ministry of Education of Peru on designing and analyzing a survey to monitor the implementation of the national remote education strategy under COVID-19 confinement measure. The survey aims to provide actionable information to the MoE on three main dimensions related to parents: (1) information on the strategy, (2) use of the strategy, and (3) areas of support to improve the delivery and take up.

Results Status:
No Results Yet

Several governments in LAC are increasingly imposing mandatory quarantines for all citizens to contain the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Peru, the government is trying to smooth the impact of the shock on the consumption of vulnerable households by providing an emergency cash transfer for the poorest households.

Results Status:
No Results Yet