Jr Korpa via UNSPLASH

The world is currently facing many insecurities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has exposed several weaknesses and risks of the globally connected world and there are similarities and differences in the impact and policy responses of various governments to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. This presents a timely opportunity for INCLUDE to conduct a study looking at the various mitigation measures and policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic across the African continent, and the impact of these measures on work and income, access to basic services, and political participation and empowerment, which are central to transformation processes. 

The INCLUDE COVID-19 research programme  – launched July 2020 and running until april 2021 – aims to systematically reconstruct, document and analyse how national African governments and other stakeholders are taking equity into account in policy responses and interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research programme consists of two main elements, 1) country case studies of the 12 INCLUDE focus countries, and 2) a synthesis providing overarching insights into lessons learnt from the country case studies and situating these findings in ongoing debates. The synthesis will also propose new directions for policy, research and practice with regard to taking equity into account in mitigation and policy responses and interventions during (epidemic and pandemic) crises.  

On the 16th of July the kick-off meeting for the country case studies was held digitally. The research groups, all led by African researchers, from the 12 INCLUDE focus countries participated in this kick-off. The aim of this meeting was to align the different case studies and build the research cohort. All groups were very committed to making this research a success and positive vibes and ideas were shared during the meeting. A follow up meeting will be organised in September. By the end of December the country case study papers will be ready and shared through our website. A dedicated webpage to the COVID-19 research programme is currently being developed and will be shared next month.

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