Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, our researchers have published over 30 blogs, briefings, journal papers, podcasts and media comment pieces, highlighting development issues and responses related to the pandemic.

Research projects

Nicola Banks will help support the projects designed and implemented by partners in Bangladesh BRAC. Information on "Supporting BRAC Institute of Governance and Development’s (BIGD) Rapid Research Response to Covid-19”.

Diana Mitlin is working with SDI Kenya on “Understanding the problem in towns and cities of the global South, and an initial response”.

Gindo Tampubolon will study "A perfect storm of coronavirus in Rural Indonesia”.

Charis Enns secured funding from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Covid-19 Rapid Response call for work on ‘Identifying and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on legal and sustainable wildlife trade in LMICs’, and part of a successful bid for UKRI GCRF Newton funds.

Journal publications

GDI academics have written a number of journal articles about development and Covid-19. 

A group of 42 GDI colleagues plus a colleague each from geography, AMBS and MACE published a collaborative viewpoint piece on “Covid-19 and the case for global development” in World Development. 

David Hulme and Rory Horner wrote an essay for Global Policy looking at the potential for good, bad and ugly scenarios following the initial impact of the pandemic. An updated version is being published as a chapter in the Bristol University Press book ‘COVID-19 and the global South’.

Seth Schindler, Nick Jepson and Wexing Cui (a visiting researcher at GDI) published an article in Research in Globalization on “Covid-19, China and the future of global development”.

Media commentary 

Our researchers have appeared across the media discussing the current pandemic.

After publishing a widely shared blog on Covid implications for informal settlements, Diana Mitlin has been working with DFID Kenya to inform their response and priorities.  

Rory Horner’s commentaries on vaccines and the pharmaceutical supply chains role in the Covid-19 were widely covered in the UK and international media, including a comment piece in the Telegraph, and linked interviews in El PaisNPR and The Straits Times

Aarti Krishnan and her co-author Reena Das Nair article on Covid-19 and food-technology published in the South African newspaper Daily Maverick, and Aarti had a piece in Kenya’s Daily Nation on technology and food security

Richard Heeks and colleagues from the Fairwork project released a report on the plight of gig economy workers across the world since the onset of the pandemic.

Bina Agarwal has written several pieces on the impact of Covid-19, including for UNU-WIDER and The Indian Express, investigating whether women are more affected by the Covid 19 lockdowns.

Shamel Azmeh’s article in Project Syndicate on why affordable and easy to operate ventilators aren’t available for patients, and the downsides of profit driven innovation.


Webinars and panel discussions have allowed researchers to tackle the biggest issues proposed by the ongoing crisis.

Covid-19 and the future of global value chains - Stephanie Barrientos, Dev Nathan, Rory Horner and Raphael Kaplinsky (22 July 2020)

People and the Planet: The Future of Development in a Post-Covid-19 World, UNDP & UNEP Panel - Bina Agarwal (17 June 2020)

The effect of the lockdown on the poor and on farm supply chains - Bina Agarwal (15 April 2020)


Blogs allow researchers to quickly respond to the rapidly changing landscape.  

Covid-19 and the Hrishipara Diarists: was April the cruellest month? - Stuart Rutherford (11 May 2020)

Positive Deviance: A Data-Powered Approach to the Covid-19 Response - Richard Heeks and Basma Albanna (5 May 2020)

Protecting Gig Workers During Covid-19: What Platforms Must Do - Richard Heeks (27 April 2020)

Dams and Covid-19: Some Thoughts - David Hulme and Barnaby Dye (23 April 2020)

The Politics of Responding to Covid-19 in Developing Countries - Sam Hickey, Tim Kelsall, David Hulme (21 April 2020)   

Inequality and Covid-19: what might a new social contract in the post-Corona world look like? - Tanja Müller (12 April 2020)

There is need for a calibrated approach to end the lockdown, testing will be key - Bina Agarwal (3 April 2020)

Dealing with Covid-19 in the towns and cities of the global South - Diana Mitlin (25 March 2020)

Migration in the Horn of Africa project also wrote about the impact remittances could have to the Somali Covid-19 response.