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Inde

A global cohort study to understand the risk factors and long-term health impacts of COVID-19

Little is known about the behavioural and environmental risk factors of COVID-19 because of a lack of high-quality epidemiological data. Although early reports found associations between COVID-19 and smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular conditions, these findings are not consistent and there is no clear scientific consensus about the underlying risk factors that increase the risk of COVID-19. Moreover, the long-term effects of COVID-19 on cardiovascular and respiratory health are unclear.

This project aims to examine the factors that increase or reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, in addition to the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on respiratory and cardiovascular health. It will study 35,000 adults from 13 countries who have already been recruited into the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology Study, an international study assessing the health of 200,000 people from 28 countries worldwide. Participants will be tested for COVID-19 and assessed for behavioural and physical risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, or low physical activity. Clinical examination and patient monitoring will assess the impact of COVID-19 on respiratory function, as well as on the risk of longer-term cardiovascular or lung conditions. The study findings will provide valuable knowledge on the risk factors of COVID-19 and the potentially harmful long-term consequences of the disease.

This project was selected through the COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, coordinated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with IDRC and several other health research funding agencies across Canada

Project ID
109556
Project Status
Active
Duration
12 months
IDRC Officer
Zee Leung
Total Funding
CA$ 2,054,692.00
Location
Brazil
Colombia
Ecuador
India
Malaysia
Middle East
Philippines
South America
Tanzania
Turkey
Zimbabwe
Programs
Global Health
Global Health
Foundations for Innovation
Institution Country
Canada
Project Leader
Institution
McMaster University

Effect of an eHealth intervention on COVID-19 knowledge, behaviours, and mental wellness of LGBT+ people: #SafeHandsSafeHearts randomized trial

Marginalized populations around the world bear a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. This is particularly true for LGBT+ groups who already face elevated rates of physical and mental health challenges, as well as socio-structural barriers that limit the effectiveness and feasibility of recommended preventive measures such as physical distancing and handwashing. These health and social disparities greatly increase the vulnerability of LGBT+ people to COVID-19, and compound with other forms of marginalization such as race/ethnicity, gender, age, and HIV status, as well as unstable housing and employment, healthcare discrimination, and violence. There is an absence of coordinated and community-engaged responses to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for these groups.

To address these challenges, this project will adapt, test, and disseminate a community-engaged eHealth intervention with diverse LGBT+ populations to reduce their risk of COVID-19 infection. The research team will test the intervention’s effectiveness in increasing COVID-19 knowledge and protective behaviours, and in reducing psychological distress among LGBT+ people in Canada, India, and Thailand. The results of this project will reduce the risk of COVID-19 for LGBT+ people and will also better inform health system and public health responses to support engagement of LGBT+ and other marginalized populations in the pandemic response.

The project was selected for funding through the COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, coordinated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with IDRC and several other health research funding agencies across Canada.

Project ID
109555
Project Status
Active
Duration
12 months
IDRC Officer
Zee Leung
Total Funding
CA$ 492,945.00
Location
India
Thailand
Programs
Global Health
Global Health
Foundations for Innovation
Institution Country
Canada
Project Leader
Institution
The Governing Council of the University of Toronto

A new digital deal for an inclusive post-COVID-19 social compact: developing digital strategies for social and economic reconstruction

For many people around the world, digital technologies have enabled the continuation of work, education, and communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. But for half the world’s population who cannot connect to the internet, the pandemic has put a renewed spotlight on the uneven access to and distribution of digital technologies globally. This enduring digital divide undermines governments’ abilities to harness technologies for the efficient and safe delivery of necessary services online, and that in turn means education, commerce, and relief support is not accessible for many who need it most.

This project will study the linkages between the informal economy and the digital transformation of governance. Among the issues under examination are the potential to “formalize” small firms and thus increase the tax base that funds social protection; the impact of digital services during lockdown and eventual recovery; the factors that undermine digital access; and the role of democratic governance and accountability. The project aims to inform policy debates on the role of digitalization in the management of disasters and pandemics, and the economic and social reconstruction of emerging economies. It will provide immediate signals to policymakers on the strengths and deficiencies of current response strategies and help create conditions for economic recovery through improved information flows and efficiencies associated with digitization.

The project will involve six countries: Colombia, India, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, and will generate comparisons with other countries in those regions.

Project ID
109488
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Ruhiya Seward
Total Funding
CA$ 1,668,100.00
Location
Colombia
India
Nigeria
Peru
South of Sahara
South Asia
Sri Lanka
Programs
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Institution
Research ICT Africa

Economies beyond emergencies: assessing impacts of COVID-19 policy responses on informal workers in India, Kenya, and Uganda

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought a global socio-economic crisis, with profound implications for the wellbeing of individuals, households, and communities. It has further deepened existing social inequalities and heightened risks for gender-based violence and violation of sexual and reproductive health and rights among marginalized groups. The disruption in livelihoods and protective networks has undermined the bargaining power of women, exposing them to higher risk of abuse and exploitation in domestic and public spaces and in the workplace. This further sets the stage for the increased occurrence of harmful traditional practices that are anchored in gender norms, such as female genital mutilation, early and forced child marriages, and child labour.

This project will undertake research to inform gender-responsive, accountable, and democratic policies and strategies that ensure vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19, such as female workers in informal urban economies, can recover and rebuild their lives and livelihoods. Research in three urban settings in India, Kenya, and Uganda will generate data on the impact of the COVID-19 response on women workers in the informal economy. This will provide an understanding of how gender norms, pathways to economic empowerment, and the gendered impacts of violence and access to essential health services can inform policy that is responsive to the specific needs of women workers in these informal economies.

Project ID
109487
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 900,000.00
Location
India
Kenya
Uganda
Programs
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Institution
International Center for Research on Women

Informal workers and COVID-19: evidence-based responses to the crisis at the base of the economic pyramid

This project focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns on the livelihoods and health of poor workers, especially women, in the informal economy. Over 90% of workers in developing countries are informally employed, with higher rates of informal employment for women. While the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic for these workers, evidence on how they are affected is not yet available to inform a policy response, especially during the recovery phase.

The informal economy is so diverse that nuanced information is required about how the crisis exacerbates existing vulnerabilities for different groups of informal workers and about how different groups of informal workers contribute as essential frontline workers. This project will do so using a mixed-methods longitudinal study that includes a large-scale survey of informal workers spanning over 10 cities across eight countries, with a focus on four groups that predominantly employ women: domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors, and waste pickers.

The findings will inform policies and actions needed to address the impacts of the pandemic. They will also highlight how existing responses are affecting informal workers in ways that deepen or reduce inequalities. Ultimately, this project will contribute novel and contextually grounded evidence to ensure a fundamental rethink of the underlying injustices and inequities that exacerbate the negative impact of the pandemic on informal workers, with a focus on women.

Project ID
109486
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Martha Melesse
Total Funding
CA$ 941,500.00
Location
Ghana
India
Mexico
Peru
Senegal
South of Sahara
Tanzania
Thailand
Programs
Governance and Justice
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Institution
Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) Limited

Developing an information sharing framework for public awareness and advocacy for coronavirus prevention in South Asia

Developing countries are expected to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis because these societies may be more vulnerable to higher infection rates and greater death rates due to weaker health systems. Many countries have less fiscal capacity to invest in interventions to flatten the curve and keep daily cases at a manageable level for their healthcare systems.

Misinformation and disinformation have become a major issue during the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations system and the World Health Organization have labelled current trends in misinformation and cybercrime as an “infodemic” parallel to the COVID-19 pandemic. Misinformation is a significant problem for vulnerable populations in the contexts of weak public health systems and insufficient healthcare facilities. It not only hinders effective responses to the pandemic, in several countries it is leading to instability and violence against ethnic groups accused of transmitting the virus, and against healthcare facilities and professionals targeted by conspiracy theories.

Despite having high GDP growth rates, South Asia lags with respect to systems, infrastructure, and spending on public healthcare. Population density in South Asia is very high, making managing and containing outbreaks, especially in dense slums, very difficult. This project aims to counter misinformation about COVID-19 in the region by developing factual content for new media. It will study how misinformation relating to COVID-19 circulates and create content customized for context, culture, and language across communities in South Asia.

Project ID
109454
Project Status
Active
Duration
3 months
IDRC Officer
Phet Sayo
Total Funding
CA$ 226,700.00
Location
Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
India
Maldives
Nepal
Pakistan
Sri Lanka
Institution Country
Bangladesh
Project Leader
Institution
The Institute for Policy, Advocacy and Governance

Future of rights and citizenship in the digital age: IT for Change's three-year program for research and advocacy

Issues related to cyber security, online privacy, misinformation, bias in artificial intelligence, and the data economy are emerging as important yet complex public policy issues. However, very few organizations in the Global South have the experience and expertise to support national governments in designing policy solutions.

The objective of this grant is to strengthen the organizational robustness of IT for Change, an Indian think tank and non-governmental organization. By supporting its core research agenda, this project enables stability for IT for Change and allows its leadership to better engage in forming partnerships, directing and designing research and campaigns, and influencing public opinion. Moreover, the grant will allow IT for Change some flexibility over the next three years to bolster and expand on existing work while pursuing new and often niche research areas.

Project ID
109385
Project Status
Active
Duration
36 months
IDRC Officer
Phet Sayo
Total Funding
CA$ 256,100.00
Location
India
Programs
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Networked Economies
Institution Country
India
Project Leader
Institution
(name of President/Secretary) on behalf of IT for Change

Digital platforms and women’s work in Sri Lanka and India

There has been a rapid increase in the number of digital work options available to women. While some options are almost exclusively used by men, others, such as craft and creative marketplaces like Etsy, are dominated by women. Across these options, there are a variety of practices demanding different trade-offs between time and money from workers, leading to an emerging ecosystem of digital work. At the same time, the characteristics of working age women have become more heterogeneous in terms of skill, education, conditions for labour force participation, and engagements with digital platforms.

This project will assess the ecosystem within which women are engaging with digital work and how online platforms can contribute to women’s economic empowerment. The findings will inform updated labour market regulation and business practices.

With a focus on India and Sri Lanka, the project will explore a number of key questions, including how women leverage digital platforms to improve their livelihoods or to socially empower themselves; whether apps are being designed to attract women (as users or providers); and how women view digital opportunities. It will create a common understanding of the ecosystem across business, policy, and civil society by consulting with digital platforms, civil society, and policymakers. The evidence is expected to lead to better business practices, improved public policy and civil society responses, and an ecosystem that is more inclusive for women.

Project ID
109332
Project Status
Active
Duration
30 months
IDRC Officer
Gillian Dowie
Total Funding
CA$ 369,100.00
Location
India
Sri Lanka
Programs
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
Sri Lanka
Project Leader
Institution
LirneAsia

Organizing digitally: opportunities for collectivization among female workers in South Asia

The rise of digitization in the economy and in labour markets is driving shifts in the relationships between workers, employers, consumers, governments, and worker’s rights organizations. The shift to platform-based work has the risk of disconnecting workers by allowing them to access jobs online and work in relative isolation. This reorganization has an impact on the governance of the labour market and how different voices will be heard in the future of work. There are also implications for the future of trade unions and similar organizations that are necessary to modernize and adapt.

With appropriate design, platforms can be harnessed to enhance the representation of women workers, to share information, to connect, and to collectivize in a changing labour market. This presents opportunities for workers on platforms, as well as those in traditional workplaces, to use technological advances to advocate for better conditions. This project explores how women manufacturing workers can use digital platforms to share grievances and communicate directly to the top of the supply chain, allowing their voices to contribute to the governance of the future of work.

The project will develop a scalable model for worker collectivization through digital platforms by reforming communication practices between workers at the bottom of supply chains with management at the top. It will also document strategies for workers themselves to use digital platforms to build their collective agency. Working with garment workers in India and Bangladesh, researchers will document how harnessing digital platforms for collectivization will enhance the voice and representation of women workers in a digital era.

Project ID
109331
Project Status
Active
Duration
30 months
IDRC Officer
Gillian Dowie
Total Funding
CA$ 366,900.00
Location
Bangladesh
India
Programs
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Employment and Growth
Institution Country
Netherlands
Project Leader
Institution
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Climate and Resilience - Operating costs for capacity building

This project will support the Climate and Resilience partnership by covering the operational costs, including salaries and benefits, office costs, and travel of IDRC staff. Separate project approval documents will authorize the execution of individual research projects and activities related to program governance, communication, and evaluation.

The Climate and Resilience transition fund is a partnership between IDRC and the UK Department for International Development. It represents a joint investment of CA$7.1 million over two years aimed at scaling, uptake, and impact of climate research, as well as designing the next generation of research needed to accelerate adaptation and catalyze climate action in the Global South.


Project ID
109311
Project Status
Active
Duration
24 months
IDRC Officer
Bruce Currie-Alder
Total Funding
CA$ 707,788.00
Location
Bangladesh
Ghana
India
Kenya
Madagascar
Mali
Mozambique
Namibia
Senegal
South Asia
South of Sahara
Zimbabwe
Programs
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate Adaptation and Resilience
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