COVID-19 Lockdown and its Impact on Citizens of Gampaha District, Sri Lanka
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This study looked to understand the experiences of 35 individuals during a lockdown in the Gampaha district. The last mile service delivery experiences – particularly in the areas of access to goods, education, cash and medicine – were some of the areas to which particular attention was paid. The study was conducted in 2 parts. First, 20 individuals who were smartphone owners were studied. These study participants recorded their experiences of living in lockdown over 14 days and communicated it to the research team via an ‘e-diary’ —that is, they shared messages, images, videos and voice clips via WhatsApp. The research team also spoke to the participants daily and conducted an in-depth interview with the participants at the end of the 14-day period. The second tranche of the research was with 2 groups. Given that the e-diary method required participants to send multimedia messages, it excluded those who did not own smartphones. The experiences of those in the lower socio-economic groups (SEC D&E), were not captured as a result. Therefore, in depth interviews were conducted with individuals belonging to these groups via a voice call. Additionally, key informant interviews were carried out with service providers who operated under lockdown conditions. This included teachers, grocery shop owners, health professionals and bank managers.