Mitigating COVID-19 Risk: Digital Substitution in Nigeria

Globally, how people, businesses, and nations conduct their social, economic and political activities has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the  containment measures taken to combat it. The ability of people around the world to digitally substitute  access to their work, schooling, banking and retail has determined the degree to which they have been able to  mitigate the health and economic risk associated with the pandemic and the associated lockdowns.

Finding trustworthy methods of data collection for evidence-based policy development, particularly during hard lockdown periods in early 2020 when the world was still learning about the virus, has been one of the major issues faced by African policymakers and governments. In 2021, Research ICT Africa (RIA) carried out a random digit dialling (RDD) survey in Nigeria and South Africa to understand how individuals utilised the internet during lockdown, particularly to retain their livelihoods while the majority of industries were shuttered. This policy brief provides a high-level summary of the findings from the Nigerian phone survey. It primarily aims to comprehend the extent of datafication and digital substitution in Nigeria that will help formulate effective and evidence-based ICT policies.

Suggested citation

Chinembiri, T., Mothobi, O., Yusuf, B., Banya, R., Kabinga, M., & Gillwald, A. (2022). Digital and intersectional inequality in Nigeria: A demand-side perspective. CORE Policy Paper no. 2. Research ICT Africa.