Whose Crisis? The Global COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of communities in Africa is an international research project that aims to investigate and represent the diverse experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic from those marginalized by mainstream media and policy influence. This article focuses on the multidimensional effects of the generalized lockdown policy in an agrarian community in Nigeria. The project engaged participatory and culturally responsive adaptations of qualitative methods including participatory engagement and individual and group discussions with purposively selected community members. This relational research practice is supported by a Systems Thinking approach to data analysis. In particular, a Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) is used to analyse and visually present the relationships between various elements (variables) of the research context (the system). This study reveals the interrelated effects of the COVID-19 prompted generalised lockdown policies on livelihoods, education, health, and security in rural Nigeria. Although the lockdown policy was intended to curtail the impact of COVID-19, it had severe unintended consequences, exposing weaknesses in the social support system and threatening the foundations of the agrarian community of this study. This article culminates in recommendations for participatory and culturally responsive approaches to future policy formulation.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Cite as

Awosanmi, G., Afolayan, A., Perry, M., Ajibade, G. & Ajayi, S. 2024, 'Policy impacts in dynamic relation to food, livelihoods, safety and learning: COVID-19 lockdowns in a Nigerian Agrarian Community', Environment, Development and Sustainability. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-024-04938-2

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 20 May 2024
Was this page helpful?