Case Studies on Trust, Institutions, and Collective Action during the COVID-19 Crisis in Bangladesh

Case Studies on Trust, Institutions, and Collective Action during the COVID-19 Crisis in Bangladesh

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Naomi Hossain, Mirza Hasan


Effective responses to COVID-19 depend on citizens cooperating with the government in the lockdown, testing and treatment regimes. With multiple cases of defiance against the government-imposed restrictions on travel and mass gatherings in the earlier stages of the COVID-19 crisis in Bangladesh, ensuring citizen cooperation has continued to pose a huge challenge. In early March, thousands of people gathered in Lakshipur for a special prayer session in an attempt to prevent the coronavirus outbreak—despite restrictions on mass gatherings across the country. Disappointingly, tourism levels had spiked in Cox’s Bazar and other popular holiday destinations, following closure of educational institutions over the coronavirus situation. Government and its partners need to know how their policies and statements are being received and acted upon by communities so that they can design or adapt them as necessary. This research will monitor community responses to COVID-19 through phone-based surveys in purposively sampled locations across the country, with a focus on the poorest and most vulnerable areas and populations.

Project Outcomes of Interest

What people believe and understand about the purpose of the lockdown; the views on how the lockdown is being implemented and by whom – which actors or institutions do people trust, and why; other kinds of collective action being taken by local communities and actors to prevent transmission and/or support people affected by the disease or the lockdown; people’s expectations of governmental and other action to support their needs; and how social structure and informal social protection systems are holding up at the community level


BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD)

Link to Results

Link to results brief

Impact Goals

  • Improve social-safety net responses
  • Promote peace and safety, and improve humanitarian response

Project Data Collection Mode

  • CATI (Computer-assisted telephone interviewing)

Link to Public Data

Results Status