Learning From Responsiveness to a Rapidly Evolving Context: IDRC’s Covid-19 Responses for Equity Programme
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This report summarises key institutional lessons that emerged from a Learning Journey commissioned by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for its Covid-19 Responses for Equity (CORE) programme. Learning Journeys are a research method developed by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to support collaborative scoping processes and provide participants with structured spaces to learn, discuss issues, and to reflect on their day-to-day work and how to apply learning. CORE was designed as a rapid response mechanism to address the sudden global shifts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative supports 21 research projects with Southern partners across 42 countries. It seeks to understand the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic, improve existing responses, and generate better policy options for recovery. The CORE Learning Journey was managed by the ‘Knowledge Translation’ (KT) supplier for CORE, the UK-based IDS. It brought together grantees, IDRC senior management, Regional Directors (RD), Program Officers (PO), and IDS staff, to share experiences and reflect on the successes and challenges of the CORE programme. It was framed around a central learning question: What are the key lessons to emerge from the IDRC experience of funding CORE as a responsive mechanism to provide innovative Southern-led policy and practice solutions in the context of a rapid onset and rapidly evolving global crisis?