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BRIEF May 24, 2021

Phone Survey Data: Monitoring COVID-19 Impact on Firms and Households in Ethiopia

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Despite the closure of borders around the world and aggressive containment measures, COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread globally. While the current battle to keep new infections low continues in Ethiopia, this is not a guarantee of immunity from either the virus or the economic fallout.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its negative economic effects create an urgent need for timely data and evidence to help monitor and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis and protect the welfare of the least well-off in Ethiopia’s society. To monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ethiopia’s economy and people and inform interventions and policy responses, the World Bank Ethiopia team, in collaboration with the government, designed and implemented three high-frequency phone surveys, one with firms, one with households, and one with refugees.  

Firm COVID-19 monitoring survey

The phone monitoring survey of firms monitored the effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on firm operations, hiring and firing, and expectations of future operations and labor demand. To assess the impact on firms, the team took a stratified sample from an administrative register of all formal firms in Addis Ababa, Adama, Bahir Dar, Hawassa, and Mekelle. Survey data collection was undertaken between mid-April and October 2020. Firms were called back every four weeks for a total of eight survey rounds, allowing to support decision making on possible policy responses and assessing the effectiveness of government interventions as they are being implemented.

Policy briefs firm COVID-19 monitoring survey

Household COVID-19 monitoring survey

The potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia are expected to be severe on Ethiopian households’ welfare. To monitor these impacts on households, the team selected a subsample of households that had been interviewed for the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) in 2019, covering urban and rural areas in all regions of Ethiopia. The 15-minute questionnaire covers a series of topics, such as knowledge of COVID-19 and mitigation measures, access to routine healthcare as public health systems are increasingly under stress, access to educational activities during school closures, employment dynamics, household income and livelihood, income loss and coping strategies, and external assistance.

Survey data collection started at the end of April 2020 and households are called back every four weeks for a total of twelve survey rounds to track the impact of the pandemic as it unfolds and inform government action. 

Policy briefs household COVID-19 monitoring survey

Refugee COVID-19 monitoring survey

The high-frequency phone survey of refugees monitors the economic and social impact of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees. Round 1 of data collection for the refugee sample occurs simultaneously with Round 6 of the national HFPS operation. The HFPS of refugees builds on Administration for Refugee Returnee Affairs/U.N. Refugee Agency’s registration database of refugees and is representative of Eritrean and Somali refugees and refugees living in Addis Ababa with a working phone number. These refugee populations were among those with the highest phone penetration rate. The 15-minute questionnaire covers such topics as knowledge of COVID-19 and mitigation measures, access to educational activities during school closures, employment dynamics, household income and livelihood, income loss, as well as coping strategies.

Policy briefs refugee COVID-19 monitoring survey

 

Data for phone monitoring surveys

All surveys were implemented using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing, using a modular approach, which allows for modules to be dropped and/or added in different waves of the survey.





Contact

Christina Wieser
Senior Economist
cwieser@worldbank.org
Alemayehu Ambel
Senior Economist
aambel@worldbank.org