July 2020 - Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has awarded funding to PEP for a new COVID-19 crisis recovery research initiative.
PEP will support 11 projects to inform inclusive adaptation and recovery policies responding to the crisis in developing countries. Projects will be undertaken in seven African countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe), two Asian countries (Pakistan and Vietnam) and two South American countries (Argentina and Ecuador).
Through this initiative, PEP will work with teams involving local researchers and government institutions to assess COVID-19 impacts and the effectiveness of current and potential policies.
The project teams will produce evidence to inform inclusive policy adjustments using partial and general equilibrium microsimulation modelling, as well as experimental research techniques:
- The simulation approach (MPIA and PMMA groups) will guide decision-makers in nine countries to explore the likely impacts that a range of policy responses may have at different stages of the crisis: epidemic and lockdown, gradual re-opening and full recovery.
- The experimental approach (PIERI group) will respond to the specific requirements of policy officials in Côte d’Ivoire and Benin in assessing two particular interventions.
Going beyond the targeted countries, PEP will lead a cross-country analysis of the results to identify general lessons that can guide inclusive response and recovery policies in other developing countries. The project process will also equip local decision-makers with the tools and capacity to implement evidence-informed policymaking procedures.
Rapid response policies need rapid but rigorous evidence
As rapid-response policies are implemented to mitigate the immediate health, economic and social effects of the COVID-19 crisis, developing country populations – and especially those most vulnerable – are at risk of being left behind. Time and resources are limited and must be put to work efficiently to address the short, medium and long-term challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project teams will include a representative of the collaborating government institution that has been identified as a priority stakeholder. The institution will also help define and approve the research objectives to ensure the relevancy of the project outputs.
Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia/NahomTesfaye 2020