Take the survey in English or Spanish through May 31, 2021. Initial results online

At the onset of the pandemic, there was a flurry of policy recommendations and guidelines from activist groups and non-governmental organizations on how to address Covid-19 in informal contexts. For example, ensuring pandemic aid was distributed to those living in slums and informal settlements, setting up communal hand washing stations in outdoor markets, halting forced evictions, and developing mechanisms to coordinate with local leaders. A year later, we’re curious to see which recommendations were followed and whether they were successful in limiting the impact of Covid-19 on people living in vulnerable, informal settings.

San Marcos street market in Aguascalientes, México (Belia Ponce).

Purpose of the exploratory survey

This exploratory research seeks to understand if Covid-19 policy recommendations for the informal sector were taken up and whether communities participated in decision-making. Through the survey, we also hope to identify innovative models of how government and citizens are interacting during the pandemic. For example, is there more or less engagement between the government and the informal sector? Are there new challenges or opportunities brought about by the pandemic?

We developed a short, 15-20 minute survey to help us identify interesting cases and explore potential innovative models for government working with the informal sector around the globe. Ultimately, lessons learned from different contexts will be a reference for how to use a crisis to redefine urban governance and create fertile soil for innovative governance approaches. 

San Marcos street market in Aguascalientes, México (Belia Ponce).

Who should take the survey?

The survey is oriented towards people who work in organizations that interact directly or indirectly with the informal sector, including, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, governments, etc. We hope to attract diverse responses, so please read this as an open invitation. 

How to take the survey?

Take the survey in English or Spanish. If you prefer to take the survey by phone or Zoom, we’re available to administer the questions and record your answers. Please reach out with any questions or ideas for collaboration (mitgovlab@mit.edu). The survey will be open through May 31, 2021. Thanks for your time! 

San Marcos and La Purísima street markets in Aguascalientes, México (Belia Ponce).