A Pathways Approach to Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Households

Published on

December 16, 2020

In April 2020, we launched a COVID-19 Emergency Briefing Series with ISF Advisors to anticipate the potential impacts of COVID-19 on different types of rural households, and the cascading effects that could follow on markets, food security, and national security. This new learning brief examines the actual impacts of COVID-19 on rural households in Kenya using real stories and data collected from the field from mid-March through August 2020.


As with the COVID-19 Emergency Briefing series, this learning brief builds on the Pathways to Prosperity report by applying a pathways lens to better understand how the crisis is impacting different types of rural households that are pursuing diverse livelihood strategies and have varying levels of resilience to cope with shocks. 

How COVID-19 affects rural households
RAF Learning Lab

Applying a pathways lens to this research is important because it allows us to gain a more nuanced view of how the crisis is affecting households in different pathways, leading to the design of tailored and pathway-specific interventions instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Top coping mechanisms by pathway
RAF Learning Lab

We conclude this brief with specific recommendations for funders, service providers, and policy makers to enable them to understand and address both the short- and long-term consequences of the pandemic in rural areas

This research was funded by RAF LL and Shell Foundation with support from FCDO and implemented in partnership with Dalberg Advisors, Dalberg Design and Dalberg Research. 


COVID-19 Learning Brief: Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Households

About the Author(s)

Original Content

The Learning Lab works to identify and share knowledge relevant to our learning agenda and our users, but also to create new knowledge through research and facilitated learning. Original content from the Learning Lab includes news about the Lab, analyses we've conducted, knowledge products we've created, and posts we've written about other relevant initiatives.

Learning Lab Contributor

Shell Foundation (SF) is a UK-registered charity, founded by Shell in 2000, that creates and scales business solutions to enhance access to energy and affordable transport. SF exists to serve the low-income communities most affected by these issues. They provide patient support to social enterprises and institutions capable of delivering social change at scale across Africa and Asia via disruptive technologies or business models without long-term reliance on charitable support or subsidy.

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