Covid-19 Responses for Equity (CORE)

In July 2020, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) awarded funding to PEP for Covid-19 Responses for Equity (CORE), a new Covid-19 crisis recovery research initiative.


Under this initiative, PEP is supporting 11 projects (listed below) to inform inclusive adaptation and recovery policies responding to the crisis in developing countries. Projects are being 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).

PEP is working 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:

Female researcher in Ethiopia wearing a face mask surveys another women with her back to the camera
Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia / NahomTesfaye 2020
  • The simulation approach (macro and micro 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 (experimental group) will extend ongoing projects, supported under the Impact Evaluation Mentoring for Governments initiative, to 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.

Addressing an urgent need

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.

Projects selected for PEP-support

Eleven projects, in as many countries, are being supported under the CORE initiative. Three projects are being conducted in low-income economies and/or fragile or conflict-affected situations (LIE/FC).

See the full list of projects below, updated to include outputs as they become available. 

Simulations of policy responses and interventions to promote inclusive adaptation to and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis

Using macro/CGE modeling

Kenya    Project page   

Nigeria**    Project page   

Pakistan    Project page      National Policy Conference       Story of Change

Zimbabwe**     Project page      National Policy Conference


Using microeconomic analysis







    *Low-income economies (LIE)     **Fragile or conflict-affected situations (FC)   

    Field experiments to promote inclusive adaptation to and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis


    Côte d'Ivoire


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