High Frequency Monitoring of the Covid-19 Response in Delhi

Gaurav Chiplunkar
Jeffrey Weaver
Researchers conducted high-frequency surveys with visitors to government primary health care centers in Delhi to assess how the pandemic has affected food and income security, awareness of and access to government relief schemes, and knowledge of public health directives among households.

Project Summary

Location: Delhi (all districts)
Sample: ~ 4,700 Aam Aadmi Mohalla clinic (primary health care center) visitors.
Timeline: April - June 2020
J-PAL Initiatives providing funding: N/A 
Target group: Urban population (visitors of Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics in Delhi)
Outcome of interest: Social service delivery; Food security & nutrition (food grain entitlement among PDS beneficiaries, awareness and reach of the e-coupon ration scheme in non-PDS beneficiaries, use of food shelters across PDS beneficiaries and non-PDS beneficiaries, financial security for the following one month, receipt of Jan Dhan or other government cash transfers, availability and price of basic food items in the market); Health knowledge and awareness
Covid-19 dimensions: Economic shocks on individuals, households, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs); Knowledge, attitudes, practices & beliefs; Migration and condition of migrants; Covid-19 symptoms; Access to government relief measures; Cash transfers; Behavior change communication; Food security 
Mode of data collection: Computer-assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) / phone surveys
Nature of activities: Data collection (surveys); Use of administrative data
Research paper(s): N/A

Project Details

Using administrative data of visitors to Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics (primary health care centers), researchers conducted surveys with around 1,200 residents of Delhi every 7-10 days. The questionnaire was brief and focused on food and income security, awareness of and access to government relief schemes as well as knowledge of public health directives. The results from each survey round were shared with the Dialogue and Development Commission, Government of Delhi (DDC) in a written report, along with a real-time dashboard tracking variables at the district level.

The high frequency and granularity of the reports allowed the DDC to direct relief efforts to areas where their response could be strengthened. For example, surveys highlighted districts where a high share of respondents reported applying for the Delhi government's e-coupon ration scheme, but only a few had received its benefits, which resulted in the DDC directing more relief efforts to these areas. Apart from aggregate statistics, these high frequency surveys provided deeper insights on how the pandemic has affected various types of households, including migrant workers, permanent residents, and Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries.

Research Results

Results forthcoming.

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