Initiated during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, JLI funded research to generate findings and lessons on the economic and psychological impact of the pandemic on rural Kenyan households, utilizing a unique high-frequency, high-detail data collection effort in Kakamega and Kisumu County.

From February 2020 – July 2021, three students interned with our partner AIGHD and wrote their thesis under their guidance. They investigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on various outcomes, or used the Diaries data for research on mental health and poverty.
These researchers and topics include:

  • Nursena Aksunger (MSc Development Economics at the Universiteit of Amsterdam): How do the multiple faces of poverty lead to high levels of depression? Evidence from Kenya
  • Ananda Pradhan (BSc Econometrics at University of Amsterdam): The Gendered Impact of COVID-19 on Income, Expenditures and Savings in Rural Kenya
  • Mathilde Wuite (MSc Spatial, Transport and Environmental Economics at VU Amsterdam): Estimating Women Empowerment in Kenya. Using Women’s Relative Intra-household Income as a Determinant

Here’s a high level summary of their findings:

We studied the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of rural low-income households in Kenya. We observed long-term reductions in income from work, reflected in reduced expenditures on schooling and transport, less informal risk-sharing between households and postponed loan repayments. Food expenditures remained largely untouched over time. In the longer run, the income reduction persisted, people lost their formal jobs, and shifted to lower-paid casual labour. Informal social support structures further crumbled, and health expenditures decreased.

For more information, you can click to read their papers:

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