Preliminary findings: First call Listening to Young Lives Work in Ethiopia phone survey

Hand washing-COVID-19 prevention

Since the first case of COVID-19 in Ethiopia was confirmed on the 13th of March 2020, the number of cases has increased steadily. Despite the fact that the government is taking proactive measures to reduce the negative consequence of COVID-19 the pandemic is causing multiple and varying impacts across society.

Yesterday, 10 August 2020, Young Lives Ethiopia released its first COVID-19 Phone Survey Headlines Report. Listening to Young Lives at Work in Ethiopia. The Young Lives (YL) phone survey took place from June 9th to July 15th and reached a total of 2,471 young people. It aims to investigate the short and medium term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, well-being, and transition to the labour market and education trajectories of young people in Young Lives study. The study has come up with the following major findings, 

•    Most respondents are sufficiently informed to recognise two of the three most common symptoms of COVID-19 and almost all have heard of social distancing. Access to the internet and living in urban areas increases the knowledge of common symptoms. 
•     Only 56% of the sample followed five basic measures recommended to prevent infection. Those with internet access (better informed) and a greater capacity for self-isolation in the home (wealthier households) showed a higher degree of compliance. 
•     Very few voluntarily restricted their movements during the pandemic and most left the house to attend to basic needs. Leaving the home for work may have also increased the risk of infection for males and households with a low capacity for self isolation (the poorest). 
•    Less than 1% of respondents believed anyone in their household has been infected with COVID-19. 
•     Those who were previously employed in the informal sector were especially vulnerable to the economic consequences of the pandemic. Male respondents and those in urban areas were also more likely to lose income or employment. 
•    In the Older Cohort, 27% of respondents reported that at least one household member had lost their job as a result of the crisis, in spite of Government protection measures prohibiting laying off workers. 
•     Those most at risk of food shortages during the pandemic were those already considered food insecure in the previous Young Lives survey round, especially in urban areas. Few households received government support, although this support was more common among food insecure groups. 
•     Education was entirely interrupted during this period and very few children continue to learn remotely. The probability of remote learning is especially low for those whose parents have no formal education and those in rural areas.

Young Lives Ethiopia is currently conducting its second phone survey and will carry out one further round in order to capture the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 and consequent changing contexts and its impact among young people. 

Click here to read full report.