Since October 2020, UNICEF, UNDP, Prospera and the SMERU Research Institute have been monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on Indonesia’s households to inform government policies, with support from the National Statistics Office and the Ministry of Finance. The partners first collaborated on a ground-breaking survey in October-November 2020, in which 12,216 nationally representative households across all 34 provinces participated. Findings of the survey can be accessed through the following link: https://www.unicef.org/indonesia/coronavirus/reports/socio-economic-impact-covid-19-households-indonesia
Between December 2020 and January 2021, the partners conducted an additional three rounds of rapid surveys (see Figure 1) to track the following key changes in households’ socioeconomic conditions: employment, income, resilience to shocks, schooling, reach of social protection, access to immunization and health services. These surveys enabled us to monitor the socioeconomic situation of approximately 2,400 households from across Indonesia who took part in all rounds of survey. This includes the full survey from 15 October to 17 November 2020, and the additional three rounds of monitoring surveys – the first round conducted from 7 to 19 December 2020, the second round from 21 December 2020 to 6 January 2021, and the third round from 8 to 22 January 2021
The results of these monitoring surveys paint a picture of a time when Indonesia was acclimatizing to the ‘new normal’. This was a period when restrictions on social mobility had just been lifted, with the resumption of economic activities, but infection rates remained high, and schools were largely closed. There was also some economic progress towards the end of 2020, as evidenced in the key macroeconomic indicators. Despite this modest rebound, the monitoring surveys conducted during the period show that many were struggling.
In mid-2021, Indonesia faced a surge in the delta variant of COVID-19 and imposed temporary, large-scale social mobility restrictions while also ramping up the vaccination roll-out. Given the fragile state of households throughout the survey period, it is reasonable to expect that the key socioeconomic indicators tracked by these surveys – job, income, food security, learning constraints, access to health services – have deteriorated during the second surge, though more data and evidence are required to determine the true extent. As the COVID-19 situation remains uncertain, households and children will require ongoing assistance to avoid long-term scarring.