Research

COVID-19 Impact on markets access, food security and livelihoods in Latin American Countries

In collaboration with the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) regional office of the World Food Programme (WFP), RIWI engaged over 1,062,453 respondents across the LAC region, to understand the true impacts of COVID-19. From May 2020 to August 2021, RIWI conducted 4 waves of data collection, randomly intercepting and engaging respondents of all ages and from every department in Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and El Salvador. The survey collected benchmark data at the outset of the pandemic, and longitudinal data over subsequent waves, to measure and monitor important indicators, such as income changes, access to services, and the availability of food.

In August 2021, during the fourth and most recent wave of data collection, 72% of respondents in Colombia worried about food insecurity. One in three adults living in the region reported they had skipped meals or restricted consumption so that their children could eat. The latest surveys also highlight that one third of people in the region do not have enough money to cover their essential needs, demonstrating a critical situation that is more grave than depicted in traditional media and research.

The speed with which data were collected, and the flexibility to ask the most relevant questions enabled WFP to explore a variety of issues in a timely manner. The findings have enabled WFP to identify vulnerabilities, and have shaped decisions for interventions despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic and context. WFP used the data to create a public-facing interactive dashboard containing the information and subsequent analysis. WFP also published several reports at the regional and individual country levels, including an in depth analysis about the main fears and anxieties in the region, titled “Remote Assessments Reports on the Impact of COVID-19”. The information collected by RIWI and WFP has helped provide a better understanding of the situation in the region, and will continue to collect data on these indicators throughout additional waves as the pandemic continues to persist and its impacts further the necessity for remote data collection.

Read the press release here.