Research for development in the era of COVID-19: Challenges & possibilities

SOAS and Oxford have been coordinating in the past year a series on Research for Development that has focused on exploring ethical and practical challenges around development-oriented research. In response to the new realities, we would like to shift a bit the attention of the series to explore how institutions and funders in high-income societies (HICs) could be refocused to the specific challenges of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as they face this outbreak. The session will be guided by the following questions:

- How has COVID-19 impacted and disrupted development-oriented projects on the ground and the capacity of local partners to be involved and deliver in collaborative projects? – What does the crisis reveal about research systems in LMICs and how can these be strengthened at this time to support evidence-based decision making? How could institutions and funders adapt their processes to support this effort with the flexibility required? – How can these objectives be pursued with reflexivity of power hierarchies in international development and between nations, ensuring that efforts leverage on egalitarian partnerships and local research leadership? What can HICs learn from LMICs, reversing a historically top-down development paradigm where expertise has been almost by default associated with HICs?

Facilitator: Romina Istratii- GCRF Officer and Senior Teaching Fellow, SOAS