Perception of COVID-19 and household behavior in Burkina Faso: Data analysis from a sample survey

Very soon after the first cases of COVID-19 appeared on the African continent, governments adopted a series of measures to limit its spread. To be effective, these measures require that they be widely accepted and respected by the population, notwithstanding their various costs to the individual. Compliance depends on numerous individual and collective cultural, socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental factors, as well as on the perception of the risks involved and the severity of the multifaceted consequences that the pandemic may generate. We examine these various issues based on data from a survey conducted in Burkina Faso in May?June 2020. It appears that the measures taken by the authorities to limit the pandemic?s spread are very inconsistently complied with. The vast majority of respondents take the pandemic very seriously, believing that the health consequences, and even more so the economic consequences, will be serious. The survey also shows that a large proportion of respondents are concerned about the pandemic?s effects on the deepening of inequalities and the potential increase in violence and insecurity. The results highlight both common features and a great variety in perceptions and behavioral responses at the individual and regional levels. Burkina Faso?s decision-makers can use these results to better calibrate the prevention strategies to be implemented, as the prospect of broad immunization coverage remains both distant and highly uncertain, and to be ready to respond to future pandemics.

Mathonnat J., Audibert M., Nossek V. (2022) Perception de la Covid et comportement des ménages au Burkina Faso : Analyse des données d’enquête par sondage, Revue d’économie du développement, vol. 29(1), pp. 111-165.