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 on COVID-19 Impact on School and Learning Poverty will be released in May 2021.