As Timor-Leste implements new movement restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 in border municipalities, the United Nations Development Programme, General Directorate of Statistics (GDS) and Ministry for the Coordination of Economic Affairs (MCAE) today signed an agreement for a nation-wide survey initiative to understand the impact of such restrictions on living standards and well-being across the country.
The second Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA 2.0) builds upon the foundation of the first SEIA conducted between June and September 2020, which surveyed 419 households, 99 businesses and 40 key informants in five municipalities. Conducted in rapid response to the initial State of Emergency announced in April 2020, SEIA found that 75% of households and 68% of businesses had suffered from the pandemic response.
The results of the initial SEIA were broadly welcomed by government and civil society as being of major benefit to guiding their work in pandemic responses. SEIA 2.0 was built into government and UNDP planning for the potential of a long-term pandemic lock-down.
Beginning nearly one year after the initial State of Emergency was announced, SEIA 2.0 will expand upon these findings to provide a longer-term view of the pandemic response impacts; the effects of government economic stimulus and support measures; and provide comprehensive coverage of every municipality in Timor-Leste.
Thanks to MCAE funding, SEIA 2.0 expands on previous cooperation between the UNDP and GDS, with UNDP supporting survey design, and GDS staff and networks located in all municipalities collecting data from 5000 households and around 500 businesses.
SEIA 2.0 seeks to provide a more nuanced understanding of how different demographics of the population – including the most vulnerable in society – are being affected by the ongoing circumstances. It will also inform what livelihood, healthcare and other essential services each group need most.
This will allow planners and organisations from all sectors to target their responses to the needs of each municipality, with consideration of different demographic needs. SEIA 2.0 will also gather data on the outcomes of the Government of Timor-Leste’s short-term economic recovery measures in support of communities and businesses.
UNDP is conducting SEIA in over 60 countries around the world, with each implementation being tailored to local contexts and conditions. It is the first nationwide socio-economic impact assessment in Timor-Leste and is a valuable opportunity to enhance UNDP-Government cooperation and capacity-building efforts through the complementary skills and resources of both UNDP and GDS.