New projects address socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations
These are just a few of the many research questions addressed in the COVID-19 Responses for Equity initiative. Its 21 new projects — with research happening across 42 countries — seek to understand the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic, improve existing responses, and generate better policy options for recovery.
This three-year, CA$25-million rapid support initiative focuses on the most affected populations and regions while seeking to advance gender equality and address the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing vulnerabilities.
The research will centre on economic policies to mitigate impact and enhance recovery; efforts to protect informal business, small producers, and women workers; and democratic approaches to promote accountability, inclusion, and civic engagement.
- The impact of COVID-19 on inclusive development and democratic governance: Rapid and post-pandemic assessment in the Mekong sub-region
The Cambodia Development Resource Institute leads a consortium that is exploring policy impacts on vulnerable women workers and small entrepreneurs to inform recovery phase policies and initiatives in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
- Shaping the macro-economy in response to COVID-19: a responsible economic stimulus, a stable financial sector, and a revival in exports
The Overseas Development Initiative is generating data, analysis, and advice for the heavily affected countries of Bangladesh, Kenya, Peru, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania to address the COVID-19 recession and recovery in an inclusive, gender-equal, and sustainable way.
The African Economic Research Consortium leads research in Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia to evaluate the unequal and gender-specific economic impact of the pandemic, including food insecurity and malnutrition, and to suggest policy responses.
The Economic Policy Research Centre is generating evidence on the impact of the pandemic on micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises and the effectiveness of the government’s response to support Uganda’s economic recovery.
Led by the South African Institute of International Affairs, this research on fiscal, monetary, and programming options in six countries aims to support climate-resilient and sustainable economic rebuilding that is inclusive of vulnerable groups.
- Informal workers and COVID-19: evidence-based responses to the crisis at the base of the economic pyramid
Through a large-scale survey of domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers in 10 cities around the world, the project aims to inform policies and actions to protect women informal workers.
- Economies beyond emergencies: assessing impacts of COVID-19 policy responses on informal workers in India, Kenya, and Uganda
The International Center for Research on Women is analyzing the gender-specific impacts of the pandemic in three countries — including the greater risk of gender-based violence — to design an actionable agenda that supports women workers in the informal economy.
- Improving the targeting of public policies for decent work in Francophone Africa in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
The Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar is exploring the impact of the pandemic on small informal businesses in Benin, Cameroon, Morocco, Niger, and Senegal, with special attention on the specific challenges facing women and options for tailored support.
- Impact of COVID-19 on family farming and food security in Latin America: Evidence-based public policy responses
The project will generate evidence to mitigate the pandemic’s impact on agri-food systems and to strengthen the sector in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guatemala.
- Addressing the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 with a gender lens: food systems, labour markets, and social protection in Latin America
The Group for the Analysis of Development is testing policy innovations in the food supply chain, employment services, and social protection systems to support economic activity and protect workers and small producers in Ecuador and Peru and in one Central American country (to be determined).
- Providing timely evidence to facilitate the socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in Rwanda
Led by Rwanda’s Institute of Policy Analysis and Research, a consortium is gathering data about the impact of the pandemic from thousands of households and businesses to enable policymakers to improve socio-economic support measures.
- Supporting small and medium enterprises, food security, and evolving social protection mechanisms to deal with COVID-19 in Pakistan
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute is mapping formal and informal small and medium enterprises in Pakistan and assessing the effectiveness of a stimulus package to reach them, support livelihoods, and ensure food security.
- Simulations and field experiments of policy responses and interventions to promote inclusive adaptation to and recovery from the COVID-19 crisis
Using simulation models, the Partnership for Economic Policy leads research in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to analyze the impacts of the pandemic on household poverty and inequality and the effectiveness of various policy responses.
- Impacts of public policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic on the informal sector, young people, and women: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Senegal
To understand the socio-economic impact of the pandemic and improve public policies, including the prevalence of domestic violence, particularly among people in the informal sector and youth, the Centre ivoirien de recherches économiques et sociales is assessing recent changes in activities, income, consumption, and well-being in four West African countries.
- A new digital deal for an inclusive post-COVID-19 social compact: developing digital strategies for social and economic reconstruction
A consortium led by Research ICT Africa examines the role of digitalization in making informal firms more visible, protecting workers and small producers, and supporting gender-equal and inclusive access to relief and services during the pandemic in six of the world’s emerging economies.
- Socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on African economies, social cohesion, and governance: evidence from Benin, Burkina Faso, and South Africa
The African School of Economics leads policy-relevant research on the effects of the pandemic in the informal sector, for example retail trade in public markets, and on changing patterns of violence and attitudes toward the state in three African countries.
- Promoting resilience in COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa: Building inclusive and effective social protection and safety nets
A consortium led by the Arab Reform Initiative is assessing the pandemic’s gender-differentiated impact and response programs, including community-led initiatives and mechanisms for citizen oversight in social protection in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia.
- Bridging communities in Cox’s Bazar: Mitigating risks and promoting gender, governance, and localization of humanitarian responses in the COVID-19 era
BRAC University is building on collaboration between Rohingya refugees, host communities, and humanitarian agencies in Bangladesh to co-create approaches that reduce the safety and security risks of vulnerable groups during and after the pandemic.
- Addressing COVID-19-related vulnerabilities for migrant returnees in Central America’s Northern Triangle
The Asociación de Investigación y Estudios Sociales leads research in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to identify and address challenges faced by returning migrants related to labour reintegration and gender-based violence.
- Social engagement, citizen agency, and governance: toward a new democratic consensus in post-pandemic Latin America
Asuntos del Sur leads a consortium studying the pandemic’s impact on social relations, inter-group trust, and collective action for improved accountability and new equitable models and approaches to engage citizens in six Latin American countries.
Led by the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa, this consortium will analyze the pandemic’s effects on male and female youth and strengthen their ability to contribute to response and mitigation efforts in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.
Through this initiative, IDRC will also offer opportunities to build capacity where needed, promote peer learning among research partners, and provide support for knowledge translation. This support will strengthen efforts to reach relevant actors in governments and other sectors who can put the necessary measures in place to protect those who are suffering most and to ensure equity and sustainability during the recovery period.
The world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic must ensure gender equality, rights and inclusion, and environmental sustainability and resilience. Evidence-based responses can support these efforts and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.