COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy: Informal Workers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


WIEGO.2021.COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy.Dar es Salaam,Tanzania

COVID-19 Crisis and the Informal Economy is a WIEGO-led 12-city longitudinal study that assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on specific groups of informal workers and their households. Using a survey questionnaire and in-depth interviews, Round 1 assessed the impact of the crisis in April 2020 (the period of peak restrictions in most cities) and in July 2020 (when the survey was conducted and restrictions had been eased in most cities)1 in comparison to February 2021 (pre-COVID-19). Round 2 will assess continuing impacts versus signs of recovery in the first half of 2021, compared to the pre-COVID-19 period and Round 1. This report presents the summary findings of Round 1 of the study in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Researchers in Dar es Salaam surveyed 283 domestic workers who are members of the Conservation, Hotels, Domestic, Social Services and Consultancy Workers Union (CHODAWU), the local partner organization of informal workers. They also interviewed two informal worker leaders and two key informants from membership-based organizations.

The research provides a demographic profile of this workforce and documents their working conditions and the impacts of COVID-19. While Tanzania did not enforce a generalized or strict lockdown, research suggests that domestic workers’ conditions—already precarious—deteriorated.

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