Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    Psychological Distress One Year into the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results from the Fifth Round of the Household High-Frequency Monitoring Survey (HFS) in Sudan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-06) Farfán, Gabriela; Gayoso de Ervin, Lyliana; Osman, Eiman; Aziz, Azza Ahmed Abdel
    The outbreak of COVID-19 coincided with a period of significant economic, social, and political challenges in Sudan. The most significant of these were related to the recent establishment of a transitional government in August 2019 after the fall of the ruling regime due to the revolution that started in December 2018 and succeeded in toppling the government in April 2019. But the optimism around the political developments were accompanied by marked fluctuations in the economy that were further exacerbated by the pandemic. Between March 2020 (the first wave of the pandemic) and June 2021 (the time of this survey) inflation went from 81.64 percent to 412.75 percent, and the Sudanese pound severely depreciated. While the government introduced a package of reforms aiming at restoring macro-economic stability, soaring commodity prices and shortages of power and fuel, are some of the economic challenges that fueled social and political unrest during this period. The first COVID-19 case in Sudan was confirmed on March 13 of 2020, and soon after, cases started to increase. As in many developing countries, evidence suggests that COVID-19 exposure was significantly more prevalent than that indicated by officially reported cases. The speed of propagation of the coronavirus and the uncertainty around how to prevent it led to the implementation of different preventive and control measures in the first quarter of 2020, including restrictions on activities and the promotion of preventative health measures. 3,4 The government implemented two lockdowns aiming to restrict mobility. The first lockdown implemented from March to June 2020 was strict. Initially it only allowed activity until 10am, and it gradually extended to 1pm and eventually to 6pm. The second lockdown (September - December) was more lax. Furthermore, adherence to the timeframes set by the government was highly correlated with socio-economic status. Middle-class segments of Sudanese society were able to comply more readily than their less economically privileged counterparts. As a result, only the major thoroughfares were empty. In contrast, gatherings, public prayers, social life, and market congregations were largely maintained in neighborhoods of lower socioeconomic status.
  • Publication
    Monitoring COVID-19 Impacts on Households in Sudan: Results from a Panel Household High-Frequency Phone Survey
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-06) Osman, Eiman; Rahasimbelonirina, Ando; Etang, Alvin
    This brief focuses on the household survey component of the High-Frequency Phone Survey of Households (HFS). The sampling methodology adopted for the implementation of the household survey is probabilistic, and the sampling frame is provided by a compilation of a list of phone numbers collected during the implementation of various projects/surveys during the last few years at the household level across the country. The sample is representative of the 18 states of Sudan. This brief summarizes the main results of the core questions in the completed six rounds of the Sudan HFS of the same households (i.e., a panel survey). Results of the firm survey will be reported in a separate report.
  • Publication
    Key Ingredients to Women’s Legal Rights in Kenya
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-03-24) Githae, Catherine Nyaguthii; Galiano, Emilia; Nyagah, Fredrick J.K.; Recavarren, Isabel Santagostino
    Legislative reforms to increase gender equality before the law are often long and complex processes. This brief focuses on a series of reforms in Kenya, specifically, the adoption of the Sexual Offenses Act of 2006, the Employment Act of 2007, and the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act of 2015. Strong evidence, broad coalitions, and incorporating the highest standards based on international best practice in early legal drafts are singled out as the key elements that led to the successful adoption of these landmark laws promoting women’s rights in Kenya. The lessons in this brief can provide important insights for policy makers, advocacy groups and international organizations involved in the pursuit of legal gender equality in Kenya and other countries.
  • Publication
    Somalia: COVID-19 High Phone Survey Wave 2 Brief
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11) Kotikula, Andy; Pournik, Milad; Yoshimura, Kazusa
    In January 2021, the second wave of the Somalia high frequency phone survey has been administered, calling 2,811 households to see the impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on people’s behavior and livelihood. The first wave has been conducted in June 2020, and compared to that, the adoption of preventive measures such as washing hands and wearing mask was less widespread in the second wave, while over 90 percent of people expressed interest in getting tested and vaccinated. The overall employment rate seems to have improved from the first wave, but still the majority of households (79 percent) reported the further income reduction. Food insecurity has clearly worsened compared to the first wave while government and non-government assistance appears to have reduced greatly since 2020, which strongly suggests the need of further support to the Somalis, especially the most vulnerable groups including internally displaced populations (IDPs) and nomadic households.
  • Publication
    Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 on Households in Somalia: Results from Round 1 of the Somali High-Frequency Phone Survey
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-10-01) Karamba, Wendy; Salcher, Isabelle
    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its effects on households create an urgent need for timely data and evidence to help monitor and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis on the Somali people, especially the poor and most vulnerable. To monitor the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and inform policy responses and interventions, the World Bank designed and conducted a nationally representative Somali High-Frequency Phone Survey (SHFPS) of households. The survey covers important and relevant topics, including knowledge of COVID-19 and adoption of preventative behavior, economic activity and income sources, access to basic goods and services, exposure to shocks and coping mechanisms, and access to social assistance. This brief summarizes the findings of the first round of the SHFPS, implemented between June and July 2020. The information presented here is based on a sample of 2,811 households across all regions of Somalia, drawn using a random digit dialing protocol. Sampling weights are computed to ensure representativeness at the national and state level, and by population type. The same households will be tracked over 12 months, with selected respondents—typically the household head—completing interviews every 8-12 weeks. Monitoring the well-being of households over time will improve understanding of the effects of, and household responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in near-real time.
  • Publication
    One Year in the Pandemic: Results from the High-Frequency Phone Surveys for Refugees in Uganda
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06-28) Atamanov, Aziz; Reese, Benjamin Christopher; Rios Rivera, Laura Abril; Waita, Peter
    The URHFPS tracks the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on refugees. The World Bank (WB) in collaboration with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched and conducted the URHFPS. The URHFPS tracked the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic between October 2020 and March 2021. This brief discusses key selected results while providing policy options. Where possible and appropriate, findings are compared to Ugandans by using the national High-Frequency Phone Survey (UHFPS) conducted by UBOS with the support from the World Bank since June 2020.
  • Publication
    Gender Implications of Rural Land Use Fee and Agricultural Income Tax in Ethiopia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Komatsu, Hitomi; Ambel, Alemayehu A.; Koolwal, Gayatri; Yonis, Manex Bule
    Land use fees and agricultural income tax in Ethiopia are levied on rural landholders according to the size of agricultural landholdings. Summarizing the evidence presented in the authors paper based on new, nationally-representative data on taxation of households and individual landholdings and rights in the Fourth Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey, this brief discusses how area-based land taxes are regressive and the tax burdens for female-only households are larger than for dual-adult households. Social norms limiting women’s roles in agriculture and a gender agricultural productivity gap are likely to be a source of this gender bias. Lower tax rates for smallholders can reduce women’s tax burdens, but area-based land taxation would continue to be regressive.
  • Publication
    Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 in Kenya
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Pape, Utz Johann; Delius, Antonia; Khandelwal, Ritika; Gupta, Rhea
    The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a strong impact on the livelihoods of Kenyan households, even though employment and income levels are recovering. The second lockdown resulted in another surge in food insecurity. While access to education worsened again due to renewed school closures, health services remained widely accessible to the population. Kenyans are well informed about the preventive measures to avoid COVID-19 infections, and compliance with hygiene measures against the virus increased again during the second lockdown. The majority of Kenyans will be willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine, but many are concerned about potential side effects. One-half of the Kenyan population is anxious due to the fear of contracting COVID-19 and potential employment losses. This brief summarizes the key results of the Kenya COVID-19 rapid response phone survey (RRPS) tracking the socioeconomic impacts of the crisis from May 2020 to June 2021.
  • Publication
    Financial Inclusion in Ethiopia: Key Findings from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey 2018/19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Achew, Mengistu Bessir; Ambel, Alemayehu A.; Gradstein, Helen L.; Tsegay, Asmelash Haile; Ul Haq, Imtiaz; Varghese, Minita M.; Yonis, Manex Bule
    Integrating a financial inclusion module into a multitopic household survey like the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) makes it possible to explore how different community spatial, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics affect the financial decisions of individuals and households. In addition, the survey data underpins financial inclusion policymaking and measurement, an agenda spearheaded by the National Bank of Ethiopia through the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) efforts. The survey collected information from households and individuals on several financial matters including current levels of access to finance based on the prevalence of account ownership, use of financial services, types of institutions used, and their proximity to the household; household and individual financial decisions about savings, credit, insurance, and payments; and financial behavior, knowledge, and attitudes. The data provides a rigorous, multidimensional picture of where the country stands in expanding access to formal financial services and reaching the NFIS goals. This brief summarizes the ESS Financial Inclusion survey report, emphasizing on key findings on account ownership, gender gap, financial behavior and knowledge of financial institutions and products.
  • Publication
    Barriers to Accessing Medical Care in Sub-Saharan Africa in Early Stages of COVID-19 Pandemic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03) Swindle, Rachel; Newhouse, David
    Eighty-two percent of respondents in a sample of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries were able to access medical care despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the remaining 18 percent, about one-third reported that the COVID-19 pandemic impaired their access, either due to lockdown restrictions, facility closures, or fear of contracting the virus. 'Lack of money' was by far the most frequently reported barrier to accessing care across countries, especially for food-insecure households, two-thirds of which cited 'lack of money' as the main healthcare access constraint. Continued monitoring can help shed light on who is most at risk of not being able to access healthcare during crises. This note makes use of newly harmonized data to summarize reasons why respondents in 11 SSA countries were unable to access medical care during early COVID-19 stages.