Irish Aid and IDS partnership: Building Back Better

Published on 9 October 2020

The Programme Partnership between Irish Aid and the Institute of Development Studies focuses on two priority themes – social protection, and food and nutrition. During the Covid-19 pandemic this collaboration has resulted in critical reflection and learning to help shape our response and provide inputs to Build Back Better.

The resulting four Positioning Papers each focus on one theme – Social Protection; Gender Equality; Governance and Food Systems – but also highlight interlinkages between these key areas.

Positioning Papers

  • Governance and Building Back Better
    IDS Fellow, Shandana Khan Mohmand
    The Covid-19 pandemic is in many ways a crisis of governance. Its magnitude and mitigation are determined by the nature of policy responses and crisis management by leaders and governments, and existing socioeconomic inequality has led to a disproportionate impact on some groups. In this paper we suggest a set of governance interventions to help create conditions for positive change and support efforts to build back better.
  • Food Systems and Building Back Better
    IDS Fellows Ayako Ebata, Nicholas Nisbett and IDS Honorary Associate, Stuart Gillespie
    Measures that have been put in place across the world to slow down the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) have had profound effects on food and nutrition security for those furthest behind. The authors of this paper employ the following concept of food systems resilience: ‘Capacity over time of a food system and its units at multiple levels, to provide sufficient, appropriate and accessible food to all, in the face of various and even unforeseen disturbances’. In applying this concept to the post-Covid-19 response, we supplement this with a political economy angle that critically examines whose resilience is and should be prioritised in humanitarian aid and donor-funded interventions. In line with  Ireland’s commitment as part of the leave no-one behind agenda, the aim is to build back food systems that prioritise those furthest behind first.
  • Social Protection and Building Back Better
    IDS Fellows Jeremy Lind, Keetie Roelen and Rachel Sabates-Wheeler
    The Covid-19 pandemic has meant sweeping changes for economies and societies, with the most devastating consequences for individuals and groups with pre-existing vulnerabilities. These impacts are likely to be compounded in contexts with greater fragility. This paper considers how social protection can offer support and be supported in short, medium and long-term responses, under different scenarios for how the pandemic might unfold. Planning must anticipate the possibility of an enduring pandemic, one stretching over many years if not decades.
  • Gender Equality and Building Back Better
    IDS Fellow Sohela Nazneen and IDS Research Officer, Susana Araujo
    The Covid-19 pandemic has affected men and women differently, exacerbating existing gender inequalities across a range of areas including health, education and livelihoods. Globally, women and girls are also experiencing increased levels of gender-based violence. This positioning paper makes a set of recommendations on the kinds of interventions, investments and partnerships that will ensure that the Covid-19 response in the immediate, medium and long-term is gender transformative with respect to the five key commitment areas under gender equality in Ireland’s international development policy, A Better World. These areas are: sexual and reproductive health and rights; women’s economic empowerment; girls’ education; gender-based violence; and women, peace and security.

Related briefing

Irish Aid/IDS partnership

The collaboration brings together research and capacity development with policy, programmatic and influencing know-how to support action that more effectively reduces poverty and injustice. The aim of the partnership is to combine cutting-edge evidence and learning to support implementation of Ireland’s policy for international development, A Better World.

For further information about the IDS/ Irish Aid Programme Partnership, please email the IDS Project Manager, Oliver Burch.

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