The initial panic of COVID-19 in early 2020 has given way to a broader realization that the pandemic is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Policy and social attitudes too have had to adjust with a shift of perspective from ‘life versus livelihoods’—centred on lockdown—to one of ‘life and livelihoods’—centred on the resumption with economic activities albeit with safety measures. In April 2020 when lockdown measures had been put in place, Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and BRAC Institute for Governance and Development (BIGD) teamed up to launch a rapid response telephonic survey on the immediate impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods and household welfare. The survey (Phase I) utilized respondent telephone databases from earlier surveys in urban slums and rural poor.
Our real-time research evidence on the economic impact of COVID-19 during the early phase of the pandemic generated a great deal of attention. Realizing the value of this research, PPRC and BIGD resolved to undertake additional rounds of survey as the pandemic situation evolves. The World Food Program (WFP) came forward to provide supplementary support to this end. After an interval of three months, by when economic activities had largely resumed, PPRC and BIGD launched the second survey (Phase II) in June 2020 on livelihood and coping during the COVID-19 crisis, with an additional focus on recovery dynamics.
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