COVID-19 brought with it not only a public health crisis but also threatened the Bangladesh economy with a grave and debilitating economic crisis. This crisis was most acutely experienced by the low-income population. Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), in partnership with Brac Institute for Governance and Development (BIGD), launched a research project to understand the immediate coping mechanisms of low-income people. Phase I – ‘Livelihoods, Coping, and Support during COVID-19’ was carried out in April 2020 whereas Phase II – ‘Livelihoods, Coping and Recovery during COVID-19’ took place in June 2020, with support from World Food Program (WFP). Both institutions have an abiding and deep commitment to the social responsibility of the research community and to the generation of independent knowledge capital. Being one of the earliest large-scale academic studies on the poverty impact of COVID-19, the research intended to contribute towards better policy measures and programs for the vulnerable.
Phase III of the Rapid Response Research was carried out in March 2021, based on a panel survey of over 6,000 rural and urban slum households. The findings from Part 1 on Poverty Dynamics and Household Realities reviewed the livelihoods dynamics over the past year, with the intention of drawing some policy directions and priorities, as we stand on the brink of a much more challenging wave, both from a health and economics perspective.
Findings from Part II of the third phase survey titled “COVID Impact on Education Life of Children” showed 19% of primary and 25% of secondary school-going children are at risk of learning loss. It further revealed the psychological costs of the pandemic – children aged between 10 and 20 in urban slums are twice as stressed (15.7%) as those in rural areas (8.4%). The survey also examined parental attitudes and concerns.
The fourth phase of the study conducted in August 2021 examines the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations. Part 1 of the fourth phase survey will be unveiled on Monday, 18 October 2021 at 12 PM, focusing primarily on the extended impact of COVID-19 on the education life of children in Bangladesh. We explore trends in learning loss, digital inclusion, mental health impacts, child labour between March and August 2021, and remedial measures to continue learning during extended school closures.
Researchers: Hossain Zillur Rahman; Dr Imran Matin; Dr Narayan C Das; Umama Zillur; Atiya Rahman; Md. Shakil Ahmed; Mohammad Abdul Wazed; Dr Syed M. Hashemi; Tanvir Ahmed Mozumder; Sabrina Miti Gain; Fatema Mohammad; Tahsina Naz Khan; Montajina Tasnim; Nusrat Jahan; Md. Saiful Islam; Avinno Faruk; Namira Shameem
Timeline: Phase I (April 2020), Phase II (June 2020), Phase III (March 2021), Phase IV (August 2021), Phase V (May 2022)