Turkey: UNICEF-World Bank-TEPAV Urban Surveys on the Economic Crisis and the Welfare of Families
In 2009 and 2010, UNICEF Turkey Country Office partnered with the World Bank and the think thank Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), to conduct two panel surveys as part of the Turkey Welfare Monitoring Survey, in order to understand the impact of the economic recession on poor urban families. The aim of the survey was to provide early warning of any potential deterioration in child and human development outcomes, and to bring to light the ways in which households cope with economic crises.
The results of the first phase of the survey showed that the economic slowdown had affected the lives of the majority of families not only through unemployment, but also through reduced incomes for the employed and reduced earnings for those in tenuous forms of self-employment. The survey indicated that families were cutting down spending on food and transportation and having difficulty in paying utility bills. The second panel survey was completed in 2010 and it found that, like in 2009, the crisis continued to be transmitted to households mainly through reduced labour incomes. The data analysis also shows that there was limited access to public safety nets during the crisis. Overall household coping strategies were not able to fully offset the impact of the income shock on consumption. Furthermore, the survey documents that, while households tried to protect the consumption of key items for their long-term welfare, many households reduced consumption of food for children and health services.