New series of policy briefings to examine challenges facing developing countries

31 Mar 2021

Today the British Academy launches a new series of briefings examining global challenges and drawing on research funded through the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund that has supported researchers seeking to address challenges faced by developing countries, and forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). Through the GCRF the British Academy runs interdisciplinary programmes that strengthen capacity for research and support equitable partnerships.

The British Academy’s new GCRF Policy Briefing Series aims to present the knowledge and insight derived from researchers working on the programmes funded by the GCRF.

‘Why representation matters in disaster recovery’, the first briefing in the series, examines how the interpretations, narratives and ideas (or ‘representations’) around recovery from disasters shape what is done post-disaster, who benefits and how. Drawing on case studies from three states in India – Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – where GCRF-British Academy-funded research has explored recent disaster events, it outlines why these representations can be so influential and why understanding them is important if we are to strengthen recovery processes, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalised within society.

The briefing is a collaboration between Roger Few, Mark Tebboth and Hazel Marsh at the University of East Anglia; and Chandni Singh, Garima Jain, Nihal Ranjit and Mythili Madhavan at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. The findings stem from an award in the Academy’s Sustainable Development Programme 2018.

Professor Simon Goldhill FBA, Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, said:

“We are pleased to publish the first of a timely new series of Global Challenges Research Funding (GCRF) briefings. ‘Why representation matters in disaster recovery’ is of enormous relevance to modern policy challenges. Many nations are currently still in the throes of, or emerging from, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the authors’ fascinating research clearly shows how various representations of recovery can have profound implications for peoples’ chances of restoring their professional and personal lives as well as their own wellbeing. This is particularly true for those living in poverty or on the margins of society.

“The research demonstrates the value of ambitious and challenge-led international research collaborations, such as those that have been made possible by the GCRF. We look forward to presenting further GCRF briefings examining some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

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For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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