IDRC contributes to UN Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery

November 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting societies and economies at their core. In the Global South, the pandemic has already increased poverty and inequalities, creating an urgency to redouble efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Illustration with a diversity of people and the report title.

As part of its response to the pandemic, the United Nations (UN) commissioned a research roadmap for recovery, released November 17, 2020.

The UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery demonstrates strong Canadian leadership. It was developed by a team led by Steven Hoffman, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)’s Institute of Population and Public Health, at the request of the UN deputy secretary-general. The roadmap is the fruit of a global participatory process to identify the research priorities that will best support an equitable and sustainable socio-economic recovery from COVID-19.

Building on the UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19, the research roadmap aims to transform post-pandemic rebuilding into a rapid learning initiative. Its five research priorities align with the pillars identified in the UN framework:

  • Protecting health services and systems
  • Ensuring social protection and basic services
  • Protecting jobs, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and informal sector workers
  • Supporting macroeconomic responses and multilateral collaboration
  • Strengthening social cohesion and community resilience

IDRC actively lent its expertise to the development of the research roadmap by making connections with its research partners around the world and as a member of the Steering Group on Social Cohesion, one of five groups identifying pressing research questions in the five pillars. A virtual August 2020 roundtable discussion brought together more than 40 emerging and senior scholars from IDRC networks spanning the globe. The discussion, co-convened by IDRC and CIHR, focused on two cross-cutting themes that will be central to the research effort: gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Participants recommended a renewed focus on systemic barriers that reinforce inequality and are exacerbated by COVID-19. They highlighted the need to document how the gender differentiated impacts of COVID-19 vary across different vulnerable groups. Participants also called for national and international responses to be based on rigorous and localized research that give voice to marginalized populations and result in context-specific approaches.

The very same principles guide IDRC’s CA$25 million rapid-response initiative to mitigate the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and support a just and resilient recovery.  

Read the project overview for the research roadmap on the CIHR website.

Learn more about IDRC´s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.