World Food Programme Urban Slums in Nigeria

In August 2020, the World Food Programme (WFP) engaged RIWI to assess the COVID-19 economic impacts on essential needs for urban and slum households in Nigeria. RIWI used the proprietary Random Domain Intercept Technology to launch surveys across Nigeria to understand the scope and severity of the pandemic’s impacts. Based on the nearly 15,000 respondents engaged by RIWI, WFP concluded that 13% of respondents lost their income, and 50% of households experienced either a reduction in their income or completely lost their income, due to the pandemic. Moreover, households receiving remittances from within Nigeria were even more economically impacted by this loss of income than households receiving remittances from abroad. Most importantly, and true to the project’s primary purpose, the data showed that households in slum areas have been more affected by income losses than other urban households.

The survey was provided in two languages; English and Pidgin, Nigeria’s native language, in order to cast a wider net and collect information from a range of respondents to better represent Nigeria’s urban population.   The survey was active for six weeks, with a wide distribution of respondents across all 36 states in Nigeria, with a specific focus on Lagos and the surrounding metropolitan areas. 47% of the surveyed population reported living in slums. 


“Web surveys have shown to be a cost-effective and flexible solution to monitor urban populations, including urban slum populations. Additionally, web surveys are well adapted for longitudinal studies for urban vulnerabilities because they do not require an established database of respondents, which enhances the ability and agility to follow-up urban population overtime in specific geographic areas of interest” 

– World Food Programme, Urban Focus Nigeria:
“COVID-19 economic impacts on essential needs for urban and slum households in Nigeria”


Using the data RIWI collected, WFP published a report entitled “Urban Focus Nigeria: COVID-19 economic impacts on essential needs for urban and slum households in Nigeria”, which was used to inform their assistance programs in Nigeria specifically in urban areas and slums. The recommendations focused on monitoring the situation in real-time as it was impossible to do so on the ground during the pandemic, and determining the best ways to assist those living in urban slums. Through the survey, RIWI captured the voices of citizens living in these key areas of importance in Nigeria, and enabled WFP to take data-driven and evidence-based action.


Image Credits: Sheffiu Imoru licensed under: Unsplash