Community Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19 on returnees in Zimbabwe

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Executive Summary


This socio-economic survey sought to assess the impact of COVID-19 on returnees and the plans of returnees who came to Zimbabwe during the COVID-19 lockdown period to ascertain whether they intend to settle in Zimbabwe permanently or they plan migrate to their host countries. The socio-economic survey aimed at establishing the needs, challenges, vulnerabilities, demographics and coping mechanisms used by returnees to respond to their challenges.
This survey is the second Socio-Economic survey (R2), since the breakout of the COVID-19 virus. The preliminary results of the first one (R1) can be found here. This report focuses on the findings of the second round survey, however reference and comparison will be made to R1 in some cases of the findings.


A mixed research design was used to conduct this socio-economic survey. Enumerators were trained to administer the survey questionnaire through face to face interviews with the returnees and key informants focus group discussions to collect quantitative and qualitative data respectively. A total of 1952 returnees participated in Round 1 (938) and Round 2 (1014) and 25 focus group discussions with key informants in 15 districts under 7 provinces in Zimbabwe. Simple random sampling was used to select the respondents who participated in the survey and a combination of purposive sampling and snowballing were Analysis of data was done using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis for qualitative data.

Ethical Considerations and COVID-19 Precautions

Informed consent was sought from all participants and they gave verbal consent before the interview. Confidentiality of their personal information was guaranteed. For COVID-19 considerations, social distancing, wearing of masks and use of sanitizers was constantly used when engaging with the communities during and after the survey sessions. During focus group discussions, an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) person was assigned to keep reminding participants to adhere to social distancing and use of masks correctly.

Limitations of the Study

While our approach was in person administration of questionnaires, 24 respondents who could not be reached in person due to distance challenges and COVID-19 considerations were interviewed telephonically.

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