Pushing the boundaries: adapting research methodology to document the COVID-19 pandemic from a socio-behavioural perspective in a low/ middle level income country: the case of South Africa
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The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in South Africas shelter-in-place lockdown. South Africa is vulnerable to the negative outcomes of COVID-19 due to health systems inequalities, high prevalence of human immunodeficiency viruses, tuberculosis and the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. Conducting scientifically validated research during lockdown, in a country thats unequal, divided and resource poor, has resulted in researchers using diverse methodologies and innovative digital tools. These notes report on gathering data for two rapid socio-behavioural studies, conducted during the shelter-inplace lockdown, utilizing a cost-free online platform to administer quantitative questionnaires. It shows the lessons learned to improve survey uptake which include the use of paid for targeted social media boosted posts, the use of social media influencers to promote the surveys, translating the questionnaire into multiple languages and adding a home-based call centre to reach high-density communities.