Gap Tracker Survey Results on Existing COVID-19 Response Gaps for Market Women in Freetown

Part II


On the 15th and 16th of April 2020 a baseline survey was conducted by administering questionnaires to 390 market women to study the COVID-19 response gaps for market women. As a follow up to the above, a midline survey was conducted from the 22nd of June to the 24th of June, 2020 in comparison with the baseline survey for market women across six major markets in Freetown.  The midline survey targeting same markets covered a total number of 452 respondents. The confidence interval of the study is  4.4 with a confidence level of 95% , with a sample proportion estimated at 50% and is reflective of a population size of 5000 market women in Freetown that the Freetown City Council(FCC) had targeted for the distribution of facemasks.

Our Respondents

Our respondents are market women who sell within designated Freetown municipality markets.

93% of market women know  what is coronavirus.

87% of respondents also know what is meant by social distancing.

61% of market women do not readily have water available to them in the market for handwashing.

68% of respondents do not know of any installed water tanks onsite the market.


  • Gap in knowledge on coronavirus 7% 7%
  • Gap in knowledge on Social Distancing 13% 13%
  • Gap in access to water 61% 61%
  • Gap in knowledge on water tanks 68% 68%

Community Intervention Suggestion

 There is a 4% decrease in the knowledge gap on coronavirus among market women. Market women’s knowledge on what is meant by social distancing has also increased and accounts for a 7% decrease in the gap as compared to previous Gap trakcer study targeting market women. Government and the Freetown City Council should pay attention to market women’s access to water for handwashing. The authorities can look into understanding factors affecting proper and appropriate use of water to ensure that all market women can have access to water for handwashing. Moreover, authorities can also work with market leadership to circulate among market women where water tanks are located in the market areas for handwashing.

93% of respondents have received donated facemasks from various organizations.

81% of respondents have received donated facemasks from Freetown City Council.

91% of respondents were not wearing a facemasks at the time of the survey.

  • Gap in donation of facemasks 7% 7%
  • Gap in use of facemasks 91% 91%

Community Intervention Suggestion

 One of the most prominent COVID-19  response has been the distribution of facemasks. The FCC has had a sweeping campaign targeting  market women for distribution of facemasks.  This campaign has been partly successful as most market women have received facemasks  from FCC. However, even with the donation of facemasks most market women still do not use facemasks. The authorities should look into enforcing the use of facemasks in market places. The current government policy on mandatory use of facemasks in public places can be a good instrument  to promote maximum compliance.


99% of respondents are selling less quantity of goods during COVID-19 response.

57% of respondents describe business as hard, while 42% report business being extremely hard.

98% of respondents are saving less money during COVID-19 period.


97% of respondents have heard about financial assistance targeting market women.

92% of respondents have heard about money been distributed by the government to market women.

69% of market women know the exact amount of money being distributed by the government to market women.

86% of respondents were not consulted on how much financial assistance their businesses needed.

83% of market women have not received any money from the government to support their businesses. 

94% have not received any business training on how to manage businesses during COVID-19 period.

  • Gap in community wide consultation of market women 86% 86%
  • Gap in financial assistance 83% 83%
  • Gap in business training 94% 94%

Community Intervention Suggestion

Very few market women in Freetown have received financial assistance from the government. Overall, most market women were not consulted by government on existing financial constraints prior to such distribution schemes. Also most market women have not received any business training on how to manage their businesses during COVID-19 era. Doing business in a crisis period IS hard for most market women. Government and partners should consider whether a crisis themed business training for market women could be beneficial in helping cushion the induced shock of coronavirus on businesses.

Who can use our COVID-19 Gap Tracker Results?

 Our gap tracker results can be used by all stakeholders directly involved in the fight against COVID-19 in Sierra Leone. We particularly encourage Civil Society Organizations(CSO) and newsrooms  to use our results and advocate for COVID-19 response gaps to be addressed by authorities in charge.

How to Get Involved?

Our aim is to continue advocating for citizens through the use of data and design thinking to build valuable information and design community intervention approach that stakeholders can adapt to address identified gaps with the ongoing COVID-19 response efforts among citizens. Hence, we welcome all partnerships and sponsors committed to supporting us achieve our aim.

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