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The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and deepened inequalities worldwide. IDRC-supported initiatives are generating high-quality, policy-relevant research to inform and enable a just and equal recovery from the pandemic in a way that meets the needs and reflects the perspectives of vulnerable and marginalized populations worldwide.  

IDRC is investing in knowledge to better understand the complex dynamic between COVID-19 and inequalities, recognizing the need for women and other marginalized populations to be positioned at the centre of solutions that are innovative, sustainable and inclusive. IDRC has invested nearly CAD55 million in responsive COVID-19 programming in more than 65 countries. Results so far demonstrate the value of crucial evidence and insights from the Global South to support inclusive solutions to challenges either caused by or exposed as a result of the pandemic. 

The widespread effects of COVID-19 on health, education, gender equality, food systems, livelihoods and public debt will persist unless they are addressed through effective policies and responses informed by robust and localized evidence. IDRC is supporting transformative research to achieve a post-COVID-19 world that is more equal, inclusive and sustainable. 

These examples offer a sampling of results and insights emerging from IDRC-supported research, with additional results and insights available at the bottom of this page:

COVID-19 is a global challenge that requires a global response based on knowledge from all parts of the world. Building on our extensive network of researchers from low- and middle-income countries, IDRC’s innovative research programs support an effective and inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery. We continue to work collaboratively with partners worldwide to identify research priorities that respond to the pandemic and that support a sustainable recovery that benefits everyone, everywhere.   

More than 60 IDRC-supported research projects across six initiatives are studying the impact of the pandemic and developing and testing effective interventions:  

These initiatives address urgent local needs, focus on the most vulnerable people and communities and stay true to our commitment to invest in high-quality research and innovation in developing countries.  

IDRC also partnered with South Africa’s National Research Foundation to launch 80 activities under the COVID-19 Africa Rapid Grant Fund. Through this fund, African researchers, science communicators and science advisers in 17 countries are ensuring that knowledge on COVID-19 in Africa is produced, widely shared and used to make decisions.  

Through the Global Partnership for Education’s Knowledge and Innovation Exchange, we also support learning and information sharing in Africa to meet the education system needs created by COVID-19. The Observatory on COVID-19 responses in Africa’s educational systems tracks information and evidence about policies and practices to support the operation of education systems and the well-being of children whose schooling has been disrupted by the pandemic.   

Results and insights

Women informal workers: What needs to change  

International Women’s Day conversation, 2022  

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COVID-19 Impact: Testimonials from the Field

IDRC recipients, spread out over the Global South, are rising above adversity to face many of the unique research challenges posed by the pandemic. IDRC is grateful for their commitment to the important work that IDRC supports around the world, especially during these uncertain times.

Two years into the pandemic - Insights from IDRC research partners

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COVID-19 Impact: Testimonials from the Field - an interview with Dr. Shadi Saleh​

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An interview with Winnie Bikaako

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An interview with Omotayo Fakinlede

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Top image: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Panos Pictures