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Managing the Covid-19 pandemic in poor urban neighbourhoods: the case of Ghana and South Africa

The novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, and measures to combat it are expected to have a significant impact on the physical and mental well being of all people, but especially those living in poor urban neighbourhoods. We are conducting a panel phone survey over several months in low-income urban neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana and Johannesburg, South Africa to analyze the impact of the various social distancing policies, such as school cancellations, curfews and lockdowns, on people’s income, food security, stress and anxiety. In addition, we also study what people know about Covid-19 and how they perceive their government’s response to the virus. All three factors will determine whether people will follow the recommendations of the WHO to keep distance and improve hygiene practices and hence will determine whether the spread of the Coronavirus can be contained in poor urban neighborhoods.

Lead investigator:

Isabel Gunther


ETH Zurich

Primary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Secondary topic:

Families & households

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection

South Africa

Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Phone survey

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date


End date



Periodic (other)

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