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Policy Briefs

COVID-19 and basic education: Evaluating the initial impact of the return to schooling

This paper describes the partial return to school that occurred during June and July, drawing mainly on the second wave of the NIDSCRAM survey. To what extent was there alignment between the grades that were gazetted to return in June and July and actual school attendance rates by children across the grades? How worried were parents and guardians about sending their children back to school and how did this vary across society?

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September 12, 2020 By: Debra Shepherd, Nompumelelo Mohohlwane, Stephen Taylor PDF

Examining the unintended consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on public sector health facility visits: The first 150 days

This paper considers how access to public sector healthcare in South Africa have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic using three sources of evidence: the NIDS-CRAM (Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey) and MatCH (Maternal and Child Health) SMS survey together with routine health care utilisation data from the District Health Information System (DHIS).

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September 11, 2020 By: Anja Smith, Nicola Deghaye, Ronelle Burger, Candy Day, Lungiswa Nkonki, Russell Rensburg, Cari van Schalkwyk PDF

Navigating COVID in the postlockdown period: Shifting risk perceptions and compliance with preventative measures

South Africa’s lockdown in March and April has saved lives by containing the spread of COVID-19 but it has done so at a tremendous social and economic cost. To avoid a second surge and another lockdown, it is vital to prioritise adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as a first line of defence against containing COVID-19. NPIs can save lives without having to risk livelihoods. But to have an impact, it requires sufficiently high levels of public adherence.

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August 12, 2020 By: Carmen Sue Christian, Ronelle Burger, René English, Brendan Maughan-Brown, Laura Rossouw PDF

A Sector Hanging in the Balance: ECD and Lockdown in South Africa

New evidence suggests that over four months after the closure of early childhood development (ECD) programmes on 18 March 2020, the ECD sector is likely to be operating at less than a quarter of its pre-lockdown levels. Of the 38% of respondents from the new NIDS-CRAM survey reporting that children aged 0-6 in their households had attended ECD programmes before the lockdown in March, only 12% indicated that children had returned to these programmes by mid-July, well after programmes were allowed to reopen

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August 12, 2020 By: Gabrielle Wills, Janeli Kotze, Jesal Kika-Mistry PDF