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A Fireside Chat – The Impact of Evidence in a Pandemic

June 27 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The global COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has required rapid generation of research evidence to improve policy and practice in health, social care, and other settings. To meet this need, the researcher community has been mobilised more rapidly than ever seen before. This has created a difficult environment for policymakers and implementation actors to navigate. Particularly, as observed in UKCDR and GloPID-R’s COVID-19 Research Project Tracker, thinly spread global funding has, in some instances, resulted in a proliferation of small, underpowered studies without impact. Tied to this, historically, researchers have struggled to disseminate their research to an audience beyond their disciplinary silos and connect to those who can effect change.

The pandemic has acted as a watershed moment, not only in this increased need to produce actionable evidence with clear routes to impact, but it has also logistically changed the game in how researchers interact with policymakers, civil society and other implementation actors. Researchers have had to be flexible and adapt their plans to changing restrictions. This has frequently resulted in locally-based researchers in Low- and Middle-Income Country (LMIC) settings taking the lead in dissemination and policy engagement activities.