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A medical clinic in Malawi
National level responses are important, but they do not fully reflect how individuals, and the communities in which they reside, respond to Covid-19.
Photo: GLD
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Developing a Locally Rooted Approach to Covid-19 Response

Research project

Short description

In March 2020 Zambia and Malawi each reported their first cases of Covid-19, with both governments restricting non-essential travel, banning large public gatherings, and establishing emergency committees to spearhead efforts to contain the pandemic at a national level. These national level responses are important, but they do not fully reflect how individuals, and the communities in which they reside, respond to Covid-19.

Aim of the project

The primary objective of this study is to generate a greater understanding of these responses in Zambia and Malawi. We will examine such issues as: knowledge of Covid-19; attitudes and fears surrounding health and economic impacts; social, economic and health vulnerabilities; and social distancing practices and other preventative measures. We pay particular attention to the local variation in concerns over social stigma, levels of enforcement (e.g., curfews, market-place closures, social assistance programs), and engagement of different authorities (e.g., religious leaders, local chiefs).

This study has two primary objectives

1) To generate information and actionable insights for government officials, CSOs, donors, other stakeholders and the public, and

2) To provide insights for academics and practitioners concerned with understanding the relationships between individual, household, and community vulnerabilities and resilience in the face of crises.