The world has put in place wide-ranging public health measures to address the spread of COVID-19, and diverse public policies are being instituted to mitigate the effects.
The health impacts of the global pandemic are now apparent in low-income countries, as are the social, economic and political impacts, the potential for these to widen inequalities, deepen poverty, generate insecurity, undermine governance and leave lasting effects on capacities to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. As wide-ranging measures are being put in place in low-income contexts, there is an urgent need for reliable, contextually grounded local data and evidence to inform appropriate responses to this global pandemic.
In response to this need, early in 2020 IDRC launched a call for proposals to select organisations under a rapid response funding mechanism. Out of this process, 21 projects received funding to contribute research, evidence and data for policy and practice solutions to mitigate the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 and promote recovery from the pandemic across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Together, these projects form the Social and Economic Response and Recovery from COVID-19 (SERRC) Initiative and work across three thematic focus areas: macro-economic policy; supporting essential economic activity, protecting workers and small producers; and promoting democratic governance and effective, accountable responses.
Alongside these rapid response research projects, this project will support knowledge translation activities. IDS will support research initiatives to promote and capture learnings of and beyond individual projects, which can guide national, regional, and global policies and actions, and foster peer-to-peer learning and exchange to build capacity of the SERRC cohort. This project will also include a reflective learning component, generating findings on past pandemic support.