Opinion by Sudip Ranjan Basu – Monica Das – Alexandra Boakes Tracy – Ac (bangkok, thailand)
Inter Press Service
BANGKOK, Thailand, Sep 16 (IPS) – The United Nations has tasked the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH) to lead the research roadmap to identify priorities that will support an equitable global socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 within the broader framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the world grapples with the impacts of COVID-19, identifying the research agenda and partnering with academic institutions and think tanks have become more essential than ever before.
So what would happen if we were to explore key aspects of this research agenda based on the Asia-Pacific experience as highlighted in ESCAP COVID-19 framework? Let us focus on three research topics.
Political economy perspectives also help institutions to mature in addressing the practical realities in which they operate. By managing social inclusion and enhancing social opportunities pragmatically, decision makers could overcome complex political economic contexts and improve citizens’ trust in governance as highlighted through research projects at the Graduate Institute. As such, research on social inclusion with a focus on home-grown approaches to poverty eradication actions and social well-being must look beyond ‘easy solutions’ or ‘quick fixes’ based on narrowly defined policy assumptions.
Engaging an economic research agenda through rigorous evidence
Recent research from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered deep-rooted disparities in access to healthcare, education, jobs and income, threatening countries’ ability – economically and socially—to safeguard progress on the SDGs. The crisis has also underscored the importance of protecting households who are likely to be beneficiaries of fiscal stimulus packages. These financing measures are aimed at providing loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, which face considerable barriers in securing funds equitably from existing financial sectors. The pandemic has, indeed, exposed serious fault lines in our economies, creating a space for imagining new economic growth models and development strategies.
Building research capability for sustainability
Scaling up partnership for research
As governments are navigating policy options, it is time to enable complementarities between public-funded research activities and privately-funded innovation projects, while making strategic investment planning for the post-COVID-19 era.
Ensuring social inclusion, building robust economic recovery and preparing for climate resilience over the next decade will provide critical insights for leading the research agenda for building back better.
Sudip Ranjan Basu, Programme Officer – Partnerships, Office of the Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Monica Das, Associate Professor, Skidmore College Alexandra Boakes Tracy, President, Hoi Ping Ventures Achim Wennmann, Senior Researcher, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies