Coping with COVID-19: A study on the impacts of the pandemic and the coping strategies of women and men living with disability in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

  • Batagol, Becky (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Junaid, Muhammad (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Nasir, Sudirman (Partner Investigator (PI))
  • Spivakovsky, Claire (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Salim, Ishak (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The focus of the proposed research is: How women and men living with disability in South Sulawesi are affected by and cope and/or respond to COVID-19.
The recent rapid assessment (a quantitative study) on the impacts of COVID-19 to people with disability conducted in 22 provinces in Indonesia by the Disabled People Organisation (DPO) Network, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, shows that people with disability are significantly financially, psychologically and socially affected by the pandemic. The rapid assessment found that the vast majority of the respondent (80.9%) agreed that the COVID-19 has negative impacts on their sense of self and social interaction. The difficulties they encountered primarily related to issues of mobility and difficulties in accessing therapeutic services. The rapid assessment also indicated a range of economic impacts. For example, the majority of respondents - who mostly work in the informal sector - have lost their income, around 50-80% of respondents reported this outcome. Moreover, the results of the study emphasised that the social safety net programs that has been organised by the government do not contribute significantly to support people with disability who are economically vulnerable to the multi-layered effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were also impacts on education. Most students with disability captured within the rapid assessment (67.97%) expressed difficulties in participating in learning using applications and online learning methods.
Importantly, the rapid assessment also showed that people with disability have potential to contribute to COVID-19 related programs, with 64% of respondents indicating that they would like to contribute to the pandemic response.
The most common types of contributions that respondents identified were: producing clothing masks, creating designs for communication, information and education media, collecting donations from the wider community (public donations) and some even contributing their personal funds.
This proposed research will follow up and complement the above study (the quantitative rapid assessment) by focusing on the impacts of COVID-19 to the everyday lives of people with disability in South Sulawesi. It will focus on their lived experience in facing the pandemic and the coping strategies they employ in their efforts to manage the effects of the pandemic. The qualitative methods will provide a thick description on how COVID-19 affect the daily lives of people with disability and how do they cope with the crisis. South Sulawesi is chosen as study site due to the highest number of people affected by the COVID-19 outside Java.
This study will explore the varied experiences of women and men living with disabilities through the pandemic in South Sulawesi. The study brings together Indonesian and Australian experts in disability, public health and gender, including those with a lived experience of disability, from three universities together with a disability NGO.
Short titleSRR_COVID 19_Gender
Effective start/end date27/08/2027/11/20


  • COVID 19
  • Disability
  • Indonesia
  • gender
  • SDG5