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COVID-19 in Indonesia: Experiences of Children and Families

Longitudinal Remote Insights Gathering

This longitudinal study was conducted remotely over a nine-month period and included 45 families living in 23 districts across Indonesia who shared insights on their experiences and those of their surrounding communities on the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on families' main concerns during the initial listening phase, the following three rounds of data collection focused on three thematic areas: learning and social lives of children; health and hygiene; and livelihoods and social assistance. Insights on each of these themes were captured in separate research briefs, as well as synthesized into a summary brief which looks back across the entire study period.

Some of the study insights included:

  • Some livelihood groups recovered quickly, while migrant workers and informal labourers continue to face challenges into 2021.

  • The scale, frequency and unpredictability of COVID-19 social assistance meant that most people did not consider this to be a significant form of support or a driver of recovery.

  • With ‘distance learning’ arrangements implemented across Indonesia, many children and particularly adolescents struggled to remain engaged in their education.

  • Teachers found it hard to interact with and assess students and lacked guidance on how to better support them during distance learning.

  • One of the significant impacts on health services was the suspension of posyandu sessions for three to six months in most study locations.

  • Worries and uncertainty about COVID-19 such as testing and quarantine led families in many locations to rely more on village-level health providers and facilities rather than visiting puskesmas and hospitals unless they were seriously ill.

Many of the study implications highlight the need for more context-specific approaches for government policies.


23 districts across Indonesia


Remote qualitative tools such as phone calls, chats, media sharing, screenshots


Families, health providers, and other community members

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