COVID-19 Research at J-PAL South Asia
The social science research landscape has transformed and adapted to respond to the most pressing questions pertaining to COVID-19. In the face of this pandemic, J-PAL South Asia has been quick to pivot to meet the shifting demands of research on the ground. Rapid research is being conducted with the goal of testing policy solutions in order to share actionable insights with decision-makers to inform their response to the pandemic and its socioeconomic ramifications.
J-PAL South Asia has transitioned completely to contactless data collection through Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) and is now exploring the effective use of Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI). Operations for these 14 studies, spread across 169 districts in nine Indian states and union territories, are already underway and are supported by a team of 400 enumerators who have been trained remotely. Surveys are being conducted with over 110,000 respondents to understand the various facets of the pandemic affecting vulnerable populations who include diabetics and dialysis patients; migrant workers; school and college dropouts; frontline health workers; farmers; elderly populations; ultra-poor women; and individuals who require psychosocial support.
Research Themes and Partners
In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, lockdown measures, and to better understand their far-reaching implications for life in the region, research is being conducted along various dimensions, in close coordination with our partners.
|COVID-19 Symptoms||Cash Transfers|
|Healthcare Delivery||Economic Shocks|
|Behavior Change Communication||Government Relief|
|Migration and Migrant Conditions||Mental Health and Well-being|
|Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices||Education|
J-PAL South Asia has developed resources to adapt to the changing requirements of data collection, monitoring, and quality control protocols, while working closely with technology and network partners.
Contactless Data Collection
- Resources for adapting to phone surveys during COVID-19 (Saurabh Bhajibhakare, Putul Gupta, Sarah Kopper)
- Transitioning to CATI Checklist (Saurabh Bhajibhakare, Ambika Chopra, Putul Gupta, and Mustufa Patel)
Call-Masking Plug-in for SurveyCTO
To allow for a smooth transition from field to phone surveys while complying with the social distancing norms, J-PAL South Asia collaborated with technology partners to build a call-masking plug-in that enables enumerators to use their own phones while ensuring the privacy of both parties.