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Journal

IDS Bulletin 52.1

Building Back a Better World – the Crisis and Opportunity of Covid-19

Published on 29 March 2021

The current global pandemic of Covid-19 is a health crisis of massive proportions that has also accelerated a series of other crises, threatening livelihoods, economies, and societies. Many of the responses and reactions to the pandemic are exposing, and potentially deepening, foundational cracks in society, heightening fragilities and vulnerabilities in systems of all kinds.

A woman wears a mouth guard during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A woman wears a mouth guard during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: © Jeyaratnam Caniceus, Pixabay.

This IDS Bulletin asks some fundamental questions about the kinds of challenges now manifesting due to the pandemic around health, food equity, social protection, gender equality, governance, and freedom of religion or belief. It explores, through a range of analyses and focused case studies, what vulnerabilities are being experienced in specific contexts, but also assesses the value of different responses to these vulnerabilities.

If this crisis has taught us anything, it is about the importance of not simply reacting to events that have materialised, but also in anticipating and predicting likely future shocks and building in capacity to deal with sudden surges. This IDS Bulletin reflects on how a shared future can be collectively and equitably shaped – and even transformed – in the light of experience of Covid-19.

Many of the articles in this IDS Bulletin draw on conceptual and theoretical framings that help us understand better where we have come from and where we may be heading. Looking towards the future, they offer practical examples of community resilience, experimentation, innovation, and collective action, demonstrating that it is genuinely possible to build forward differently.

Table of contents

This issue is free and fully open access. Click on each article below to view the full-text PDF or full text online version.

Building Back a Better World – the Crisis and Opportunity of Covid-19
Peter Taylor and Mary McCarthy

Introduction – Building Back a Better World – the Crisis and Opportunity of Covid-19
Peter Taylor and Mary McCarthy

Local Covid-19 Syndemics and the Need for an Integrated Response
Megan Schmidt-Sane, Melissa Leach, Hayley MacGregor, Jessica Meeker and Annie Wilkinson

Building Forward Better: Inclusive Livelihood Support in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements
Joseph Kimani, Rosie Steege, Jack Makau, Kilion Nyambuga, Jane Wairutu and Rachel Tolhurst

Social Protection, Covid-19, and Building Back Better
Jeremy Lind, Keetie Roelen and Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Community Leaders and Decentralised Governance: Tales from the SEWA Field
Paromita Sen and Aiman Haque

Food Systems After Covid-19
Ayako Ebata, Nicholas Nisbett and Stuart Gillespie

Covid-19 Response and Protracted Exclusion of Informal Settlement Residents in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Abu Conteh, Mary Sirah Kamara, Samuel Saidu and Joseph Mustapha Macarthy

Building Back Better, Gender Equality, and Feminist Dilemmas
Sohela Nazneen and Susana Araujo

Beyond the Crisis: Irish Aid’s Approach to Nutrition in Tanzania during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Kim Mwamelo, Peter Nyella and Adrian Fitzgerald

Religious Marginality, Covid-19, and Redress of Targeting and Inequalities
Mariz Tadros, Maryam Kanwer and Jaffer Abbas Mirza

Tackling Covid-19 and Building Back Better: The Case of Ethiopia
Hiwot Mebrate

Governance for Building Back Better
Shandana Khan Mohmand with contributions from Colin Anderson, Max Gallien, Tom Harrison, Anuradha Joshi, Miguel Loureiro, Giulia Mascagni, Giovanni Occhiali and Vanessa van den Boogard

Glossary: Building a Better World: The Crisis and Opportunity of Covid-19
Peter Taylor, Mary McCarthy

Notes on Contributors: Building a Better World: The Crisis and Opportunity of Covid-19
Peter Taylor, Mary McCarthy

Cite this publication

Taylor, P. and McCarthy, M. (2021) Building Back a Better World – the Crisis and Opportunity of Covid-19, IDS Bulletin 52.1, Brighton: IDS

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Editors

Image of Peter Taylor
Peter Taylor

Director of Research

Image of Mary McCarthy
Mary McCarthy

Irish Aid

Partners

Supported by
Irish Aid

Publication details

published by
IDS
doi
https://doi.org/10.19088/1968-2021.100
issn
0265 5012

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