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Exploring and learning from evidence, policy, and systems responses to COVID-19 in West and Central Africa

An effective response to COVID-19 requires a complex array of relevant evidence packaged in user-friendly forms to support decision-making about current and future responses. This project will map out existing evidence and its use in informing responses to COVID-19. It will identify sectoral evidence gaps (epidemiological, public health, health system, and health technology capacities, etc.), as well as intervention responses to emerging epidemics and pandemics. It will document, compare, and contrast experiences at national and subnational levels, with a focus on displaced and vulnerable populations across countries and sub-regional contexts.

The project will be implemented in six countries in West and Central Africa: Benin, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, and Senegal. To cope with the fast-moving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team is adopting a flexible study approach with iterative analysis over time. The deeper understanding generated by the project will support more detailed work and interventions that benefit displaced and other vulnerable populations. It will have an emphasis on integrating equity and gender considerations, with attention to information and experiences affecting vulnerable populations.

The research team will engage with decision-makers to inform evolving decision-making and serve as a strong basis for building resilient health systems. The work will contribute to identifying areas for inclusion in sub-regional observatories and follow-up work in the West and Central Africa region for improved evidence-informed decision-making. The project will build collaborative learning within and across countries through discussions and policy dialogues with key stakeholders to inform appropriate multisectoral responses to COVID-19 and similar health emergencies.

Project ID
Project Status
24 months
IDRC Officer
Marie-Gloriose Ingabire
Total Funding
CA$ 1,249,400.00
Democratic Republic of the Congo
South of Sahara
Global Health
Maternal and Child Health
Global Health
Institution Country
Project Leader
Irene Agyepong
Ghana Health Service
Institution Country
Burkina Faso
Project Leader
Issiaka Sombie
Organisation Ouest Africaine de la Santé
Institution Country
Project Leader
Wim Van Damme
Prins Leopold Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde