Two PEP experts are helping to lead a collaborative research project on the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 in South Africa. Professor Haroon Bhorat, a member of the PEP Board of Directors is on the Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) steering committee and Professor Ronelle Burger, a PEP Research Fellow, is leading the “Health and Covid-19” working group.
CRAM involves more than 30 researchers across five universities to survey a nationally representative sample of 10,000 South Africans every month from May to October. Using mobile telephone surveys, the project will focus on unemployment, household income, access to healthcare, child hunger and access to government grants. “It’s the first nationally-representative survey and it helps us get at important things that internet surveys can’t,” said Prof. Burger.
By questioning the same people each month over six months, the project aims to provide frequent and regular data and updates on issues that are crucial for policymaking. In particular, it should help direct relief efforts to where they are most needed and determine whether those relief efforts are working as intended.
Prof. Burger said: “From its launch going forward, the survey will be able to provide close to real-time updates on whether health system capacity constraints, fears about contracting the virus and disruption to transport networks are affecting access to healthcare. We’ll also be able to see the interactions between access to healthcare, receipt of grants and employment. That’s really important for policymakers, to adapt and adjust policy responses in this uncertain environment.”
As it becomes available, all data produced through the project will be published on the DataFirst platform where it can be downloaded for free.
Professor Haroon Bhorat (top) and Professor Ronelle Burger (middle) are
helping lead the Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) in South Africa.