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Press release

Covid Collective research platform launched to tackle global challenges caused by the pandemic

Published on 10 November 2020

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is working with the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and a group of world leading organisations to develop urgently needed research that will support recovery from Covid-19.

The FCDO funded Covid Collective will commission urgent research to help tackle the social, political and economic impact of the pandemic. These include: Governance, Social Development, Inclusion, Conflict, Humanitarian and Environment. The research will be global with a particular focus on: The Middle East, Bangladesh, Uganda, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

In its first round of grants, the Collective research platform coordinated by IDS will bring together the expertise of eight partner organisations to deliver research that can inform decision-making on some of the most pressing Covid-19 related development challenges. The partners are: University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Overseas Development Institute, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, the Center for Global Development, and the International Institute for Environment and Development.

The Covid Collective has two main functions: the co-generation of research and evidence through a grant-making mechanism and to support evidence-informed action through knowledge curation, learning and strategic communication.

Dr Peter J Evans, Governance, Conflict, Inclusion and Humanitarian Research Team, FCDO, said:

“FCDO’s social research programmes have pivoted to deliver research to help understand and tackle the wider social effects of the pandemic – and have done this despite disruption to travel, field research, and personal lives around the world.

“Our partnership with the IDS-convened Covid Collective takes this further with new urgent social research to understand how the pandemic has exacerbated a huge range of ‘cracks’ in social, economic and political systems around the world – and what we can do to help recovery – also build resilience for future crises”.

Peter Taylor, Director of Research, IDS said:

“The Covid Collective offers a tremendous, timely opportunity to ensure that high value research and knowledge generation responding to Covid-19 is funded effectively and efficiently. It will be a key source of rapid, clear, evidence-informed messages, options and alternatives for wider audiences, including policy- and decision-makers, on the most pressing Covid-19 related development challenges.

“IDS is looking forward to a truly collaborative effort that brings together researchers from around the world, and who can provide compelling, research-based arguments and options for building forward differently.”

The Covid Collective builds on IDS’ existing work providing rapid response evidence services as part of the Social Science in Humanitarian Acton Platform (SSHAP) and the K4D Prosperity Fund COVID19 Evidence and Learning Initiative. It is alongside IDS work with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to support recovery from Covid-19 through the Social and Economic Response and Recovery Covid-19 (SERRC) Knowledge Translation programme. This will increase the use of IDRC funded research across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

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