The Hidden Impact of COVID-19 on Children: Research Design and Methods

Melissa Burgess, Muhammad Hassan Qaiser, Shanmugapriyah Thiyagarajah, Dr Silvia Mila Arlini, Dr Munshi Sulaiman - Save the Children International


COVID-19 has spread rapidly within and between countries across the globe. Governments worldwide have implemented measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 including school closures, home isolation/quarantine and community lockdown, all of which have had secondary impacts on children and their households. Save the Children launched a global research study to generate rigorous evidence on how the COVID-19 pandemic and measures implemented to mitigate it are impacting children’s health, nutrition, learning, wellbeing, protection, family finances and poverty and to identify children’s and their families’ needs during these times. The research also captures children’s views and messages for leaders and other children.

The research was implemented in 46 countries and results in the largest and most comprehensive survey of children and families during the COVID-19 crisis to date, with 31,683 parents and caregivers and 13,477 children aged between 11 and 17 participating in the research. The research sampled three distinct population groups: 1. Save the Children programme participants; 2. specific population groups of interest to Save the Children; 3. the general public.

A representative sample of Save the Children programme participants with telephone numbers or email addresses was obtained in 37 countries. Purposive samples of specific population groups that Save the Children work with, for example people living in camps for displaced persons or urban slums, were also obtained in some countries. Additionally, a convenience sample of the general public was obtained. The research explores differences in the impacts on and needs of children by region, age, gender, disability, minority group, indicators of poverty and more.

This report presents the global COVID-19 research series design and methods. Reports presenting the study sample characteristics and findings are published separately and are available at:….