The Role of Information in Changing COVID-19 Related Behaviour
Prevention is a key measure to contain the spread of the virus. Low levels of information correlate with suboptimal preventive behavior. We test whether providing information can contribute to an increase in preventive measures taken while allowing people to cover their basic needs. The target population are beneficiaries of the two large NGOs in three provinces of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Sindh. At baseline we contact 20,737 beneficiaries and community representatives in 1526 villages.
Out of these, 1016 villages were randomized to receive a remote awareness campaign. The awareness campaign is conducted via two modalities: over phone calls only in 762 villages as well as additionally via Imam loudspeaker announcements in 254 villages. Moreover, testing a theoretical model, we randomized individuals to receive five different awareness messages via phone calls. While ground mobilization is limited, the survey is conducted remotely over the phone following the same individuals over time to capture key outcomes.
Preliminary results indicate that the remote awareness intervention encouraged preventive behavior during the pandemic. We also find adjustments in labor supply and the health status of household members.
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