UNICEF COVID-19 GenU AT UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

Youth Empowerment andhealth / economicresponses -YEaH
UNICEF COVID-19 GenU at University of Pretoria

COVID-19 Research and Engagement Platform at UP (CORE-P)

Future Africa is coordinating the COVID-19 research and engagement platform (CORE-P) to harness a vibrant community of practice driven by UP and to embrace a wide range of academia in Africa. The key principle of CORE-P is transdisciplinary research that brings various teams together to co-design targeted research outcomes and results for higher impact. CORE-P will not be limited to COVID-19, but will be highly motivated by the pandemic and its cascading social, ecological and economic impacts to co-create solutions to various aspects of lives and livelihoods affected by the crisis.

An inter-academic platform

CORE-P is a hub for COVID-19 science and engagement to develop and deliver diverse knowledge relevant to the pandemic and its consequences for our societies. CORE-P is a virtual and real place where various research groups will converge to catalyze actionable solutions from their teams. Future Africa will host the platform to trigger collective actions, synergies and shared intelligence and learning of its members to reflect on the role of science and technology in the management of the current health crisis, as well as for future development pathways that ensure vulnerable people and places are more resilient to future health crises.

The functions of the CORE-P

Benchmarking
Benchmarking of the solutions suggested by the different faculties to address current COVID-19 challenges and to be prepared for the future. This function is a building block for the collaborative approaches to co-design the solutions related to COVID-19 from health to social awareness, engagement and policy relevant recommendations.

CORE-P
CORE-P as a digital platform: In the current crisis, the role of digital platforms in maintaining certain economic activities and social ties seems obvious. The many experiences and lessons during the pandemic have to a large extent legitimized an inevitable transformation on ways we share knowledge and good practices for a widespread and rapid adoption. Future Africa will work with partners to develop a cloud space (with Amazon or Google) to establish a knowledge hub for information sharing (based on open data and open access).

Beyond  COVID-19
Beyond COVID-19: The pandemic and the social-economic-ecological nature of its causes, impacts and responses has revealed many dynamics, challenges and key uncertainties for development. Projects will be designed to develop research, knowledge and new capacities including skills for young people to prepare for a future more in line with the requirements of SDGs (UNICEF funded project).

The resilience
The resilience of communities, economies and systems to such crises. The value proposition is based on emerging solutions to sustain and adapt the long-term resilience of these processes and systems. Furthermore, this function will explore the role of transformative changes of underlying systems that are key in supporting development policies. This function aims to mitigate the short, medium and long term impacts that COVID- 19 and responses, have on the most vulnerable communities.

The resilience
Sustainable development: In view of the social, ecological and economic consequences caused by the pandemic and responses to it, the re-initialization of economic activities requires particular attention to the goals of sustainable development. Projects will aim to explore the consequences of various re-initialization options and trajectories for the SDGs. It will also aim to propose leverage points and opportunities to transform development for more sustainable and equitable futures, and to address the vulnerabilities being revealed by the pandemics.

Implementation of the CORE-P

The following steps will enable the activities of the programme:

  • Research collaborations to address various aspects of COVID-19. The Platform is open to any program willing to extend their activities through a community of practice.
  • Workshops and meetings will include planning aspects to establish road maps for action.
  • Secure funds for regular CORE-P meetings, each program will look for its own funding
  • Use the Future Africa collaboration with UNICEF and Carnegie Foundation to build an umbrella program on COVID-19.

How to get involved with the CORE-P

Researchers and stakeholders who are interested in being part of the platform and its networks, are welcome to discuss possible collaboration with the Future Africa team.
Contact: Professor Cheikh Mbow, Director (c.mbow@up.ac.za ).