Covid Collective: Social Science Research for Covid-19 Action
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In early 2020, the world became aware of a new global threat. Covid-19 spread rapidly, upending the lives and livelihoods of people around the world. With support from the Research and Evidence Division of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, we initiated a new social science research programme that focused on the impact of the pandemic called the Covid Collective. Given the scale of the challenge, we wanted the Collective – as its name suggests – to be highly collaborative, involving effective partnerships and engagement. The purpose of the Collective is to generate research and knowledge in response to the most pressing development challenges emerging from the pandemic. This required rapid generation of policy-relevant evidence to inform decision-making, as we moved from crisis to recovery phase and beyond. We saw a need for transformations in perspective, worldview, and practice, and we believed that this could be achieved through a genuine integration of social science alongside other scientific approaches being adopted to address this global crisis.