Vulnerability / Trust in Covid-19 Times


  1. General information
  2. Questions
  3. Outputs

General information

Together with Macartan Humphreys, Ana Garcia-Hernandez, Melina Platas, Leah Rosenzweig, Lily Tsai, and Paul Kiwanuka-Mukiibi, we coordinated a 3-wave panel survey during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kampala (Summer and Fall 2020).

Relying on a representative sample of Kampala residents, these phone surveys aimed to provide up-to-date information to policymakers on:

  • the extent to which the Coronavirus is spreading through the population
  • patterns of social distancing compliance among residents
  • hardships at the household level caused by the lockdown measures


Additionally, of theoretical interest to the research team, the surveys were also designed to get at (1) how intra-group and inter-group trust in the community changes as a result of a health crisis, and (2) the willingness of residents to take up a (at that time) potential Covid-19 vaccine.

The 3 surveys were run in June-July 2020 (wave 1), September-October (wave 2), and November-December (wave 3), with the invaluable help of our implementation partners in IPA Uganda. In addition to standard questions about trust and compliance, the surveys also included:

  • non-intrusive measures of compliance designed to elicit more truthful answers
  • vignette/survey experiments
  • behavioral measures of willingness to engage with the local bureaucracy


For more information about the project, you can check the following outputs:

  1. The original pre-analysis plans for the surveys
  2. A dashboard designed to showcase to policymakers, in real-time, anonymized results from the surveys
  3. Results from the survey were added to similar survey results from other countries, and included in this Nature Medicine article

The project was funded through a generous grant from Innovations for Poverty Action’s Peace and Recovery program.