SPRI Global is currently supporting UNICEF Viet Nam in carrying out a study to assess the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and families in select cities and provinces in 2021. The study builds upon the first rapid assessment of the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on children and families in Viet Nam. It also build on recent mixed method studies carried out by SPRI Global, which explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s psychosocial wellbeing and access to basic services in other countries, including Ethiopia and Ghana.
As a follow-up study, a crucial element of this research involves taking a multidimensional approach to understanding the extent to which the situation of children and families in Viet Nam has evolved between the two major periods in 2020 and 2021/early 2022 during which strict containment measures including lockdown, school closures, and social distancing were enforced.
The SPRI Global research team is carrying out a mixed-methods study, using both quantitative and qualitative strategies, to analyse the impact of the pandemic on children and households, focusing on the target study sites of Ha Noi, Bac Giang, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. Our team is carrying out this study with the support of research partners Mekong Economics Ltd., who are leading the data collection on the ground.
The research questions guiding the study are framed around the fulfilment rights of the child specified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to determine the extent to which children and families experienced deprivation, vulnerability, and/or inaccessibility or unaffordability of key services aimed at fulfilling these rights. These questions are:
- ‘What is the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Viet Nam; and how children and their families, particularly the most vulnerable groups in selected cities and provinces in Viet Nam have been impacted by COVID-19 and what are their coping strategies?’
- What is the situation of children and their families while stronger social distancing measures are applied?
- How are children and their families coping (including what kind of support and level of support they get from the government and other sources, and the society/families/social capital etc.) while social distancing measures are re-applied?
- What are the current government policies in place in response to COVID-19, especially in relation to social assistance and what are strengths and remaining gaps of these policies?
- ‘What are the specific strategic and practical recommendations for mitigating the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on children and their families in the short, medium, and long term?’
- Given the analysis of current government policies in place in response to COVID-19, what are the recommendations for the future?
- What are the support programmes – both humanitarian and long-term – that should be implemented to safeguard the well-being of children to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on UNICEF’s interventions for women and children in Viet Nam?
The study is projected to conclude mid-2022.