Doing Research Differently: Reshaping research in the time of Covid-19

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A webinar exploring how development research projects are pivoting to an online, Covid-19 environment


In the time of Covid-19, development research teams and projects must adapt rapidly in order to ensure that their research can continue and delivers impact. Covid-19 has disrupted many traditional research practices – while this presents challenges to existing research projects, it also offers opportunities to review and revise research approaches. How can we pivot existing research projects, and reshape research activities in the future to ensure that development research projects better support equitable partnership, empower and build the capacity of southern researchers, and deliver tangible outcomes?

Organised by the Oxford Forum on Research for Development (OX4RD), this webinar will use 2 case studies of recent research project adaptations to stimulate discussion, idea sharing and debate on:

  • How existing research projects can pivot to an online environment –What is/isn’t working in terms of supporting equitable partnership, capacity development and research impact?
  • Research teams who are designing and submitting research proposals now are doing so within the current reality of online-only research – what ideas/techniques are they considering?
  • How can we build contingency within research projects to adapt to future massive disruptions

The case studies:

Teen Advisory Groups (TAG) is a long-standing research project and part of the UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Research Hub. It is a participatory research collaboration between three groups of adolescent advisors in South Africa and Kenya, artists, and researchers at the Universities of Oxford, Cape Town and Toronto. TAG is taking its work remote with the aim to understand the experiences, challenges and coping strategies of adolescents during COVID-19.

Lesley Gittings, Nosiphiwo Lawrence and Nokubonga Ralayo will share their approach to co-designing a remote COVID-19 study with adolescents and some of the ethical and methodological challenges and opportunities they have faced.

Improving adolescent sexual health in North Western Nigeria is a GCRF-funded collaboration between the University of Hull, Bayero University in Kano, the Family and Youth Health Initiative (FAYOHI), and local Ministries of Health and Education. The project aims to identify entry points for and design a health literacy/health promotion intervention for adolescents in Northern Nigeria delivered in after school health clubs involving peer health champions and peer-to-peer learning.

Ahmed Sarki (from the Aga Khan University, and FAYOHI) and Andy Nobes (from INASP) will explain the origin and evolution of the programme, how it is pivoting from primarily face-to-face to online research and policy engagement, and how the COVID-19 crisis is re-shaping relationships and responsibilities between Southern and Northern research organisations.

The case studies and discussion will be chaired by John Young, Executive Director, INASP.

About OX4RD

The Oxford Forum for Research for Development (OX4RD) is a broad network of organisations and individuals in and around Oxford involved in research for development committed to doing development research with impact. The forum includes academics in the universities of Oxford and Brookes, independent researchers and evaluators, consultancies and NGOs involved in research capacity building activities.Convening members include INASP, INTRAC, Oxford Policy Management, Evidence Aid, SciDev.Net, Mokoro and Oxford University European and International Team

Image credit: Susan Elden/DFID and Teen Advisory Groups


Please register via Eventbrite.