Systematization of the COVID19 Rapid Digital Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (RD SEIA) among Indigenous Households in Suriname

The UNDP Country Office with the support of the UNDP Crisis Bureau in New York and the UNDP Regional Hub in Panama, and in partnership with the Association of Indigenous Leaders in Suriname (VIDS) implemented a Covid-19 Rapid Digital Socioeconomic Impact Assessment among 300 Indigenous Households in Suriname in 2020.

The systemization process captures the unique experience of the Rapid Digital Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (RD SEIA) of COVID-19 survey implemented in 300 indigenous households in Suriname . In a complex context of COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP Country Office with the support of the UNDP Crisis Bureau in New York and the UNDP Regional Hub in Panama, together with a team of experts and with the involvement of the representatives of the indigenous communities through the organization Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS) designed and implemented throughout 2020 a survey that brings light to the living conditions of diverse indigenous communities across Suriname. Thanks to this survey it is for the first time that a dataset with indicators of indigenous communities has been developed and analyzed with the lenses of socio-economic vulnerability, as well as gender. It is also for the first time that a digital survey has been applied with the indigenous population.

The RD SEIA was triggered by the initial identification of vulnerable groups, as part of the overall UN Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA) and Response Plan for Covid-19 in Suriname prepared by the UN Country Team with technical lead of UNDP and aiming to help expedite and facilitate urgent support.

UNDP Suriname decided to document the experiences, the process and the outcomes, in order to highlight the learnings and reflect on the possibilities of improvement of the RD-SEIA having in mind the specificities of the indigenous population, with regards to their socio-economic realities, as well as their lifestyles, identities and cultural heritage.

The choice of the systematization of experiences, as a methodology rooted in the popular education in Latin America, opens a possibility to embrace the different understandings, knowledge clusters, persons and what they represent, as well as lines of action that were part of the process and to organize and communicate these learnings, while highlighting good practices.

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