Skip to Main Navigation
BRIEF March 16, 2022

Monitoring COVID-19 Impact on Households in Somalia

A new Somali COVID-19 Household Monitoring Dashboard builds on the 2020 Somali High Frequency Phone Survey. The dashboard features four areas of key findings: knowledge of COVID-19 and preventive behaviors, access to basic needs, employment and income, and shocks; it allows users to analyze the data across time, gender and locations.

Background: Addressing the needs of a vulnerable population requires a better understanding of its current living conditions. Timely socioeconomic data are needed to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises to design timely responses. However, due to social-distancing measures and mobility restrictions at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face surveys were no longer feasible. To overcome such challenges, the World Bank launched a global initiative to implement high-frequency phone surveys to track responses to and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 in mid-2020. In the case of Somalia, the telephone surveys not only monitored the economic impacts of COVID-19 over time but also informed country interventions and policies.

Survey description: The data for the Somalia High Frequency Phone Survey (SHFPS) were collected via phone interviews by random digit dialing, whereby possible phone numbers were randomly generated and called. The target groups covered four population types: urban, rural, nomad and Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs).[1] The sample allocation was designed to provide reliable estimates by population type; it covered all areas (i.e., Banadir, Jubaland, South West, Hirshabelle, Galmudug, Puntland and Somaliland).[2]

The questionnaire covered a range of topics including knowledge of COVID-19, preventive behavior, access to basic goods and services, employment and livelihoods, exposure to shocks, coping mechanisms, social safety nets, food security and subjective well-being.

The first round of SHFPS was carried out in June 2020 covering 2,811 households, followed by a second data collection in January 2021 from 1,756 households, and a third in October 2021 from 1,790 households. The subset of the households reached in the first round was interviewed in the subsequent surveys, which made it possible to compare the impacts of COVID-19 as multiple snapshots at different time periods as shown in the dashboard.

[1] Here IDPs include both those living inside and outside IDP settlements. IDPs were identified based on the question “Have you had to leave your usual place of residence due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, natural or man-made disasters (e.g., drought, flooding, famine)?”

[2] Because these surveys were conducted over the phone, non-phone users, who are usually poorer, were excluded. To overcome this “non-poor” sampling bias, we incorporated sampling weight adjustments, which include propensity score weighting and post-stratification weighting. By doing so, we ensured that statistics are as representative of the full population of Somalia as possible.