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RWI Projektberichte

Resilience and recovery: The economic impact of COVID-19 on the informal sector in Uganda

Final Report to the IZA Institute of Labor Economics
Grant Agreement: GA-5-698

In Uganda, the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently imposed lockdown measures are devastating for poor households. Against this background, we investigate whether households that are engaged in skilled employment and have accumulated more assets are more resilient and better able to cope with the crisis. We followed up with a sample of 2,677 individuals that are part of a randomized evaluation of a cash grant program implemented in 2008. Beneficiaries received a substantial cash grant to invest in vocational training and tools. After nine years, they are more likely to be engaged in skilled employment and have accumulated more assets. We conducted phone and in-person interviews during July – September 2020. Our results suggest that beneficiaries are slightly more resilient to the crisis. We find that they reported a significantly higher income in the past month. Particularly men seem to benefit since they are also more likely of being engaged in paid employment. For women however the results suggest no increased resilience.