Indo-Pacific research study initiated between ACIAR and Griffith Asia Institute

At the mention of ‘2020’, thoughts immediately spring to health disasters and the subsequent economic loss. As would be expected, the major force of the research world has been put to developing a suitable vaccine to COVID-19, but two Griffith University researchers have crossed discipline lines to provide a different response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Sara Davies and Associate Professor Robin Roberts, from the Griffith Asia Institute, have been awarded a $200 000 ACIAR project to identify the specific risks of economic hardship and food insecurity women have experienced during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Sara’s research background on human vulnerability caused by political conditions, disease outbreaks and gender-based inequality combined with Robin’s expertise in food trade, markets insights and trade development in South East Asia will enable the outcomes of the project to guide policy development in the region.

The project team, which includes in-country partners in Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, aims to identify and document the specific gendered impacts of COVID-19 on food security and socio-economic outcomes for women across three countries. The insights will help to outline opportunities and design approaches that will begin to mitigate the harm caused by COVID-19 disruption at the individual, household and community levels in the broader Indo-Pacific region.