Context and Objectives

Caribbean countries are particularly subject to extreme weather shocks, especially hurricanes and tropical storms. Climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of these extreme weather shocks with potentially large poverty impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic, moreover, has underlined the vulnerability of Caribbean countries to other shocks. The shutdown of vital economic sectors, including tourism, has had major implications for poor and vulnerable populations. The objective of this project is to advance the use of phone surveys to inform the COVID-19 response and future disaster response efforts in the Caribbean. 

Main Activities

  • High-frequency phone surveys to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 in Belize, Dominica and Saint Lucia. 
  • Enhancing the governments’ capacities to implement phone surveys as part of future disaster response.


The implementation of the two waves of phone surveys started in June 2021, with the first wave that was finalized in July 2021. A draft questionnaire module on DRM was prepared and circulated with partners in the region, including the EU and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), with constructive comments and suggestions received. The data has been collected and published on an online repository.  Initial results have been disseminated through an official launch that was organized as a virtual flagship event held on 29 November 2021 with high-level panelists from the World Bank and UNDP (see poster). The event attracted over 400 participants and was disseminated on social media reaching over 550,000 users. The event also led to substantial media coverage with over 120 stories in 16 countries, as well as over 12,000 social media engagements. It found that even as the region turns the corner on the pandemic, its recovery seems uneven with jobs, salaries and education still reeling from the effects of the crisis. The second wave of phone surveys started in November 2021 and was completed in mid-December 2021. 

In addition, the team organized a training event with the National Statistical Offices (NSOs) of Belize, Dominica, and Saint Lucia on the design and implementation of phone surveys. All three NSOs participated in the event and confirmed the importance of the topic for their organizations. It was held on 13-17 September 2021 and gathered 21 officials including 13 women.

Partnerships and Coordination 

The project is being implemented by the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Practice in Latin America and the Caribbean in coordination with the World Bank Disaster Risk Management team for the Caribbean region. National Statistical Offices of Belize, Dominica, and St. Lucia are being engaged during the implementation of the high-frequency survey to ensure transfer of knowledge on the design and implementation of phone surveys. The CDEMA and DRM colleagues in partner organizations (UNDP UNICEF, WFP) are also being engaged to maximize the potential of the surveys.

Which Areas of Engagement are covered by this grant?

Open Access to Risk Information
Resilient Cities
Disaster Risk Finance
Resilience to Climate Change
Hydromet Services and Early Warning Systems
Inclusive Disaster Risk Management and Gender Equality
Resilient Infrastructure
The Challenge Fund

Sendai Priorities

Priority 1Understanding disaster risk
Priority 2Strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk
Priority 3Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience
Priority 4Enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction