CGIAR COVID Hub Focus: Supporting Country COVID-19 Responses


Evidence and options are urgently needed by national policymakers and implementers as they make decisions and adapt to the evolving pandemic. Leveraging the significant resources CGIAR has within target countries, researchers working through the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub are engaging with governments and other national partners to respond to country demands for innovative and evidence-based solutions for emergency response and recovery. The Hub is currently working with five countries toward these goals. Click on the country name below to learn more about the work:

On December 13, 2021, the working group held a webinar to share results of work conducted and lessons learned through the process:

Making use of system-wide entry points and assessments of country needs, Centers and in-country partners will be able to relay demands in real-time. As work progresses, researchers will be working to:

  1. Respond to country demands for response and recovery actions that require knowledge, evidence, technologies and strengthened capacities via core country teams. The CGIAR COVID-19 Hub plans to coordinate expressions of interest from across CGIAR Centers for work in specific countries and provide rapid, coordinated responses in collaboration with national partners.
  2. Ensure an integrated response by collaborating with those who have expertise in health and economic modeling, food production and supply, nutrition, gender, social protection, equity and One Health to support the core country teams in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. This scientific working group will also draw on broader expertise from international and regional organizations and studies in other countries. It will guide engagement with national partners and test approaches under development to co-create the broader CGIAR research agenda within countries.

CGIAR has a long history of engaging with partners, policymakers, and others at the country-level, and will leverage that experience to guide development of country-specific emergency response and recovery packages, drawing from work being conducted throughout the COVID-19 Hub. Country-level research will be demand-driven, and could include rapid assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on food systems to identify immediate actions to strengthen resilience and propose interventions for building back better; support activities focused on vulnerable groups, emphasizing gender and other equity dimensions; identifying new social safety net measures to support both rural and urban poor consumers in crisis situations; and responding to heightened awareness and concern about preventing, detecting and responding to emerging zoonotic diseases and preventing future pandemics.

Learn more: This interview with former Working Group Chair Ekaterina Krivonos explores how the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub is supporting and partnering with countries as they work to respond to the global pandemic.

Through this work, CGIAR intends to develop country analyses and evidence-based recommendations on policies, strategies and investment options for integrated COVID-19 emergency interventions and recovery at country level, as well as a package of solutions adapted to country demands and options for scaling up, for use by governments and development partners. The research findings and cross-country evidence will be documented to enable countries to learn from one another’s experiences.

Members of the working group Supporting Country COVID-19 Responses include:

Research in this area targets goals outlined in all four research pillars of the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub:

Learn more about CGIAR work on COVID-19 here or by contacting us at


Recent work on supporting country COVID-19 responses from across CGIAR:

Blog: Partnership and Support: CGIAR is Working with Countries to Address COVID-19 Impacts

Former Working Group Chair Ekaterina Krivonos explains the approach CGIAR is taking to support countries in their efforts to address the global pandemic. Read the blog

Video: CGIAR Work and Support in Bangladesh

In this video, Akhter Ahmed, IFPRI Country Representative for Bangladesh, shares how CGIAR researchers from CIMMYT, IFPRI, IRRI, and WorldFish have supported work on COVID-19 in that country.

Webinar: Supporting National Responses to a Global Pandemic

This CGIAR COVID-19 Hub seminar, co-hosted by IFPRI, brought together researchers and national partners from Bangladesh and Ethiopia, the Hub’s pilot countries, to reflect on progress made and lessons learned. National partners from Malawi, Myanmar, and Nigeria, also joining the Hub, considered key priorities for future COVID-19 research and response, including mitigating threats to food systems that could arise from similar shocks moving ahead.

Watch the webinar

News: Bioversity-CIAT Alliance joins Colombian network to monitor the evolution of COVID-19 virus

The Alliance is contributing to monitoring the genetic variation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in collaboration with national health authorities and other labs in Colombia. Under the collaboration agreement, Colombia’s National Institute of Health (INS, for its Spanish acronym) sends SARS-CoV-2 virus samples to the Alliance’s lab for sequencing. Results are then communicated by the laboratories belonging to the network to the INS.

Read the story.

News: ILRI Supports Kenyan Government Efforts to Identify SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Since mid-2020, ILRI has been supporting Kenya’s Ministry of Health to process COVID-19 tests. Now, following a request from the Kenyan government, the institute’s labs, equipment and expert staff will be put to work sequencing the entire genome of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in Kenya, and monitoring the different variants that emerge in Kenya or arrive from outside its borders.

Read the story.

Policy Seminar: Evolving Effects of COVID-19 on Poverty and Food Security: What Are We Learning from China?

After the COVID-19 outbreak began in December in Hubei Province, China locked down many areas to control the spread of the disease, and the economy ground to halt. Though life has largely returned to normal since the easing of restrictions in April, the lockdowns have had significant—and still not well-understood—impacts on livelihoods and food security. This IFPRI seminar explored short-term and mid-term impacts on Chinese SMEs, villages and rural households, vulnerable groups, and food value chains.

View the seminar

Blog: Savings groups support women’s financial independence during COVID-19 in Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s coastal communities were sorely impacted by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. WorldFish’s USAID-funded ECOFISH II project is empowering women to pursue diverse sources of income amidst this economic upheaval.

Read the blog

Research Paper: New Directions for Agricultural Value Chain Finance in Viet Nam

IFPRI researchers report on the challenges smallholder farmers face in obtaining credit and banking services and outline potential policy solutions based on global best practices, as well as priorities for investment, with consideration for how the COVID-19 pandemic may alter the circumstances, and the role solutions such as increasing investment in digital financial technologies may have to play in a post-pandemic world.

Read the report (PDF 830KB)

News: Working Across Institutions and Disciplines for Science-Based Responses to Fight COVID-19 in Ethiopia

Scientists from ILRI and the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT have been working with national partners to develop solutions that highlight how agriculture expertise can be adapted to support efforts to mitigate the pandemic in Ethiopia.

Read the story

Report Launch: IFPRI South Asia Discussion of the 2020 Global Food Policy Report

COVID-19 is having an immense impact on our health and food systems on a global scale. In South Asia, the pandemic has triggered the largest disruption of livelihoods in human history, affecting over 1.7 billion people.

In collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences, IFPRI held this event to present the highlights of its 2020 Global Food Policy Report in the South Asian context and in consideration of the pandemic’s impacts.

View the event

Blog: To Counter COVID-19 in Nepal, We Must Support Small-Scale Women Farmers

According to researchers from the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land, and Ecosystems, COVID-19 has exposed deeply embedded social and economic inequalities. In this blog, they share phone survey results on how women, in particular, have been affected, and consider what policies might effectively address the situation.

Read the blog

Blog: Survey Shows Despite COVID-19, Food Consumption Remains Steady in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This blog from A4NH researchers at IFPRI details findings in a recent discussion paper that suggest phone surveys reporting falling incomes in the pandemic should be viewed with caution.

Read the blog

Discussions: Understanding COVID-19 Impacts on the Nigerian Aquaculture Community

To understand how COVID-19 is affeecting the aquaculture sector in Nigeria, WorldFish virtually met with representatives from the Nigerian aquaculture community, including farmers, aquaculture developers, fisheries societies, scientists, fish processors, and corporate sector fish producers and traders. The conversations revealed compelling difficulties currently faced by the community and explored potential short-, medium-, and long-term actions.

Read about the conversations

Report: Second Rapid Assessment of Food and Nutrition Security in the Context of COVID-19 in Bangladesh

This report, from FAO, WorldFish, IRRI, IFPRI, IFAD, and CIMMYT, looks at the scale and scope of COVID-19’s impact on food and agriculture in Bangladesh, based on qualitative data collected in May and July 2020.

Read the report