IDRC invests in evidence, innovations, and policies to improve health and prevent chronic diseases through healthier food systems in low- and middle-income countries—more than CA$20 million in support of over 35 projects.
Africa has achieved impressive economic growth in the past 15 years; from 2001 to 2010, six of the world's ten fastest growing economies were in Africa. Although growth has been moderate in recent years, it is expected to regain strength.
Three years ago, Susana Martinez-Restrepo, a young Colombian researcher finishing her PhD studies, was invited to join and coordinate a regional project titled: Beyond Social Protection: Labour Markets, Entrepreneurship, and Gender Equality. Supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the project uses evidence to enhance the impact of social protection programs for the most vulnerable, and in particular, women.
Many cattle carry Cryptosporidium, an organism causing gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea that can be dangerous for both humans and animals. Preventing and managing this disease places a heavy burden on hospitals and veterinarians. IDRC-supported research into health hazards on smallholder dairy farms in a poor urban area in Kenya found that eating vegetables contaminated with animal manure or human waste was more dangerous than handling cattle or drinking milk.
Agricultural production is rapidly expanding in Southeast Asia. While this can lead to improved food security, nutrition, and income in the region, it also increases the risk of disease, exposure to chemicals, and the loss of biodiversity. The IDRC-supported Ecohealth Field Building Initiative (FBLI) supports research in the region that aims to improve understanding of the effects of agricultural change on ecosystems and human health, and provide sustainable solutions.
Transferring funds or making online payments is second nature for many, yet millions of people globally struggle to access basic financial services. Financial inclusion — improving access and availability of financial services for the poor — can reduce inequality and promote social mobility.