As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge global health systems and cause financial hardship, there is mounting evidence of how it is deepening gender disparities across cultures and economic sectors.
For an elderly man in West Africa, it is the comfort of hearing his wife’s voice on his long journey to receive cancer treatment. For villagers in Peru, it is an emergency lifeline following a devastating earthquake.
The IDRC-supported documentary A Walnut Tree, which follows the troubled lives of an internally displaced family in Pakistan, won the Grand Prix (best film award) at Moscow’s DOKer Film Festival in May, and the FIPRESCI Prize (International Federation of Film Critics) at the Istanbul Documentary Days festival in June. These awards join the film’s growing list of accolades, including the Ram Bahadur Trophy for best film at the Film Southasia festival in Kathmandu, and special jury recognition at the Festival dei Diritti Umani in Milan.
For peacebuilding processes to be sustainable, post-war security transitions must be carefully planned and participatory. These transitions often involve a reconfiguration of the entire security architecture, and include reintegrating former combatants and restructuring the military and police.
The silence surrounding sexual violence in South Asia has been shattered. The Zubaan Series on Sexual Violence and Impunity in South Asia, formally launched in New Delhi on May 21, 2016, presents severe statements about criminal justice systems in South Asia that turn their back on sexual violence, leaving survivors little recourse for justice.
IDRC-supported research has shown that, as more and more people go online in Asia, digital privacy is increasingly seen as an important political and consumer right. A survey of Asian countries revealed widespread concern among citizens about protecting their personal data and Internet privacy. The report, A New Dawn: Privacy in Asia, summarizes the findings of the research.
Research in Action
Information and Communication
An innovative IDRC initiative is improving evaluation capacities of researchers studying Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in Asia ongoing mentorship to learn and apply the Utilization Focused Evaluation (UFE) approach to their projects. DECI demonstrates the value of mentoring as a training approach, where researchers are coached as they make ready to use the approach.
An IDRC-funded project in Asia found that distance education can be as effective as traditional face-to-face education in delivering quality teaching and a good learning experience. This finding is particularly significant for remote and resource-poor regions in countries such as Mongolia and Cambodia. The project underscored the importance of choosing appropriate technologies and mediums of distance education based on learner needs, capacities, and the socio-economic context.
Health systems in countries across Asia struggle to provide access to health services, especially to vulnerable populations. Information and communication technologies like mobile phones are being used to address health challenges. This networked approach to health, or eHealth, can increase access to services and information. But can it fill critical gaps in health service provision?
Small millets, despite being rich in micronutrients and dietary fibre and known for their low glycemic index and tolerance of water stress, are in decline in South Asia. Existing varieties suffer from low yield and farmers lack access to improved varieties.