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Building back better from below: harnessing innovations in community response and intersectoral collaboration for health and food justice beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

Grant number: 21/07841-7
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2022 - July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - Public Policies
Convênio/Acordo: Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities
Principal Investigator:Vera Schattan Ruas Pereira Coelho
Grantee:Vera Schattan Ruas Pereira Coelho
Principal researcher abroad: Alexander John Ludovic Shankland
Institution abroad: Institute of Development Studies (IDS), England
Host Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Beatriz Rodrigues Sanchez ; Eugenia Brage ; Felipe Szabzon ; Gabriela Spanghero Lotta ; Leonardo de Oliveira Fontes ; Luciana Marques Vieira ; Maria Izabel Sanches Costa


The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing social, health and nutritional inequalities and highlighted common challenges facing marginalised communities in cities across the Global North and South. It has also driven new social innovations and cross-sector collaborations, some of which may have the potential to transform the longstanding inequities that undermine global health and development. This Trans-Atlantic collaboration will combine evidence and insights from social science research and the lived experiences of grassroots activists, innovators and officials to identify strategies for future action to secure health rights and food justice after the pandemic. Recognising the complex nature of the crisis and the intersecting nature of the challenges that the pandemic has brought for both health and food equity, it will analyse the trajectories, policy linkages, impacts and sustainability of grassroots innovations and collaborations that have emerged since March 2020 among activists and front-line service providers working with marginalised and racialised communities in three socially diverse and economically dynamic but unequal cities: São Paulo (Brazil), Toronto (Canada) and Brighton (UK). Thematic work streams will examine local strategies to ensure access to primary health care (including COVID-19 vaccination), emergency food provision and political representation of the needs and priorities of marginalised communities, analysing the social, political, institutional and policy factors that have enabled or blocked effective collaboration and co-production of services between citizens and public authorities, between different levels of government and between state, community and business actors to identify entry points for future strategies to support both equity and resilience. Synthesis work will examine the impacts and sustainability of the experiences of cross-sector policy coordination and multi-stakeholder collaboration that have emerged in the three cities during the pandemic, assessing their potential to underpin strategic and scaled-up action to tackle intersecting inequalities affecting marginalised and racialised communities in Brazil, Canada, the UK and beyond. (AU)

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