Resilience & Risk in the Informal Sector: Responses to Economic & Security Risks of COVID-19 in Lagos, Nigeria Survey

Resilience & Risk in the Informal Sector: Responses to Economic & Security Risks of COVID-19 in Lagos, Nigeria Survey

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Researchers are conducting a series of phone surveys to study the economic, social and security impacts of COVID-19 among informal sector vendors in Lagos, Africa’s largest city (with a population of more than 24 million). The survey capitalizes on prior work with a representative sample of market vendors, making rapid data collection at a distance feasible among this otherwise hard-to-reach population. Their experiences are indicative of those of a large and particularly vulnerable subset of the population in Africa–actors in the urban informal economy–who live day to day and whose economic activities will be deeply impacted by the crisis. These individuals can face economic risk and other personal risks. The surveys will collect information about these risks, and strategies by vendors and their marketplace associations to mitigate risks. We measure whether some groups, ethnic minorities and women in particular, are differentially vulnerable, and others differentially resilient. The aim of the project is to inform policymakers about the distribution of needs among informal vendors as well as which groups are more likely to demand and take up state-provided services.

Questionnaire Description

This survey module was developed by Jessica Gottlieb (, Adrienne LeBas ( and Janica Magat ( We have harmonized question language where possible with existing surveys studying the impacts of COVID. These are referenced in the Origin column with Notes explaining deviations from the original question language. The first round of surveys began on May 7, 2020 via phone among informal market vendors in Lagos, Nigeria. We are grateful to J-PAL's Jobs and Opportunity Initiative for financial support. Please contact any of the PI's for further information.

Researchers (*corresponding author)

Jessica GottliebAdrienne LeBas


Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Questionnaire File Type

Reader-friendly survey instrument

Questionnaire Language(s)


Questionnaire Usage Permissions

Use with attribution

Questionnaire Stage

Data Collection in Progress

May 19, 2020