UK Research and Innovation awards IGC £1 million for COVID-19 economic evidence

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund has awarded the IGC £1 million for economic studies focused on post-lockdown recovery and the effectiveness of COVID-19 policy interventions in Africa and South Asia.

With this funding, the IGC will deliver around 30 research studies across nine of its partner countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. The studies will monitor and track economic activity to help policymakers identify which businesses and households are most affected by the economic crisis stemming from COVID-19, the main constraints they are facing, and the support they need from governments. Some studies will also measure the impact of current COVID-19 economic policy interventions and, where appropriate and feasible, of new interventions co-generated with policymakers.

Developing countries have been hit hard by the economic crisis generated by COVID-19, with alarming drops in income reported across most of IGC’s partner countries in Africa and South Asia. Additionally, we are seeing increased food insecurity and cases of domestic violence, and reduced access to education. Social protection programmes are often not reaching the poorest and most vulnerable.

The IGC projects in development under this UKRI grant will study topics such as disruptions to exports and value chains, vaccine acceptability across countries, and impact of the pandemic on conflict-affected areas. The projects will add to ongoing IGC work that is delivering much needed real-time data and evidence to governments to help them make informed decisions to support households and businesses in recovering from the impacts of COVID-19.

Details on the UKRI-funded projects and research results will be available on the IGC’s website in due course.

About the funders:


UK Research and Innovation works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.


GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund supporting cutting-edge research and innovation that addresses the global issues faced by developing countries, and forms part of the UK Government’s ODA commitment.

It harnesses the strengths of the UK’s world-leading researchers enabling them to collaborate with experts in developing countries through equitable partnerships. GCRF focuses on funding challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research; strengthening capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange; and providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research or on-the-ground need. The fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and delivered through nine partners.

The Newton Fund

The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to support economic development and social welfare, tackle global challenges and develop talent and careers. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021. The fund is managed by BEIS and delivered by UK and international partners.