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Tracking how people’s lives are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can enable policymakers to better understand the situation in their countries and make data-driven policy decisions. To respond to this need, IPA developed the RECOVR survey—a panel survey that has facilitated comparisons, documented real-time trends of policy concern, and informed decision-makers about the economic toll of the pandemic.

IPA rolled out the first wave of the RECOVR survey between May and July 2020 in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mexico, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Zambia. The findings were quickly shared with country-level decision-makers and are being posted here as they become available.

Second wave surveys were fielded between July and December 2020 in Burkina Faso, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Zambia. A third wave survey was implemented in Colombia in November 2020. As with the first round, results will be disseminated to policy partners and to the global research and policy community, with links posted on this page.

First Round

The first round of the survey had a core component that was standard across countries, as well as additional questions adapted in order to ensure the survey instrument was responsive to the demands of our partners in each country. Some of the key questions the survey aimed to answer at the global level include:

  • What is the size and scope of the disruptions to government service provision due to COVID-19?
  • What is the extent of vulnerability across geographies and various demographics?
  • What proportion of people have experienced work disruptions due to COVID-19?
  • What describes the population most at risk of experiencing these disruptions? What kind of disruptions are most common?
  • What proportion of households with school-aged children are spending time on education since schools have been closed?
  • What proportion of people are skipping necessary healthcare due to COVID-19? What describes the population who are most at risk of skipping necessary healthcare?

Second and Third Rounds

The second round of the survey had a smaller core component that was standard across countries, including a suite of questions addressing potential COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and financial safety nets. The focus of the survey instrument was developed in collaboration with partners to address urgent policy data demands in each country and specific educational contexts. Some examples of targeted lines of inquiry include:

  • Educational radio program assessment and SME resiliency in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Educational access and enrolment preferences in Rwanda
  • Prescription medication (e.g. antiretroviral drugs) and agricultural market access in Zambia
  • Child welfare and domestic violence in Colombia
  • Access to family planning and child welfare in Burkina Faso

About the RECOVR Survey

In each country, the RECOVR Survey is the result of a coalition of researchers and partners. IPA researchers Elliott Collins, Doug Parkerson, and Shana Warren have developed the survey and are leading the research.

We encourage others to consider using this instrument, or sections of this instrument, so that findings can be compared across contexts. If you do so, please acknowledge “IPA’s RECOVR Surveys.”

A similar survey, led by Mushfiq Mobarak and the Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale (Y-RISE), is being implemented by IPA in Bangladesh. 

The RECOVR survey is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Northwestern University's Global Poverty Research Lab, and the UBS Optimus Foundation, among other funders. To learn more, contact us.