Led by the University of Melbourne, the project team composed of a consortium of Southern researchers is launching a global Call for Evidence (CfE). This CfE will inform the Regional Studies Association Policy Expo titled “Tackling a global pandemic in Asian Megacities: Uneven vulnerabilities, State responses and grassroots practices.”

Policy Expo Questions

The project team seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. How, and to what extent, are the state and regional (metropolitan-level) policy measures and pandemic recovery plans able (or unable) to address the needs of urban informal workers in South and Southeast Asia regions?
  2. How do informal networks, processes and infrastructures of care complement or supersede formal policy measures? What forms of collaboration with these non-state stakeholders can potentially enhance pandemic resilience among the urban poor?
  3. What policy lessons can be drawn from the formal and informal responses and processes of managing global health shocks in the urban context to build more inclusive and resilient cities?

Call for Evidence

The project team invites you to submit a case study or case studies of COVID-19 policy responses and measures as well as post-pandemic recovery plans across Southeast and South Asian cities/other urban contexts, with particular emphasis placed on urban informal workers.

What type of Evidence is accepted?

We are interested in case studies that cover one or more of the following areas:

  • Successful and unsuccessful COVID-19 policy responses to holistically evaluate the impacts, gaps and lessons learned from the implementation
  • Formal policies but also informal responses, including informal networks, processes and infrastructures of care; their complementarity or lack of, leading to alternative pathways to achieve greater resilience and providing evidence-based reference to inform policy recommendations in addressing future shocks
  • Community-level or state-level crisis management responses and post-pandemic recovery policies and programs, and emergent forms of collaboration with non-state stakeholders
  • Cases that show the spectrum of responses, or differing levels and scales of response according to context
  • Studies that examine the conceptual/ideological underpinnings of COVID-19 state responses and their impacts on the urban poor populations
  • Policy responses that take on an intersectional lens (female migrant informal workers, other minorities) or cases that focus on a particular theme (food security, transport and mobility, governance and institutional transformations)
  • References that explain the political dimensions of informal mechanisms, networks and other forms of grassroots responses to COVID-19
  • Materials that showcase collaborative arrangements between state institutions, civic groups and grassroots organisations in response to COVID-19
  • Cases that involve external partners or those that relate to building capacity, and other types of COVID-19 responses and programs that aim to strengthen the urban informal workers’ capacity to bounce back from this global crisis

We welcome diverse voices. So, we are keen to hear examples coming from advocacy and community groups and volunteers, grassroots organisations, development practitioners, urban planners and academics, non-government organisations (NGOs/INGOs), policymakers, government organisations and the private sector.

More information about the RSA Policy Expo project. This call for evidence can also be found on the Project’s dedicated webpage.

How do I respond to this CfE call?

Please submit your case studies via this short Online Form. Alternatively, and if you have questions or want to provide any additional materials, comments or insights, please E-mail connected-cities@unimelb.edu.au, with the subject line “[RSA policy Expo Call for Evidence].”

Selected case studies will be featured on the project’s dedicated website and/or invited to submit a longer submission, which we will include in one of the RSA Policy Expo outputs.

We will select cases based on the innovativeness of the approach, quality of presentation and extent of impact.

The deadline for submissions to this Call for Evidence is 31 May 2022. All contributions will be acknowledged, unless the preference is to remain anonymous.

Do you want to know more about the Policy Expo: Regions in Recovery Second Edition 2022?

If you would like to know more about the RSA Policy Expo and this project, please join us in the two online special sessions we have organised to dialogue about COVID-19 policy responses at the RSA’s Global E-Festival Regions in Recovery. You may also join as a non-presenting participan for FREE. You can register HERE. Details of our sessions are provided below:

Session 1

SS07 I. Mitigating Covid-19 in Urban Asia: Insights from South and Southeast Asian Megacities on Disaster Governance and Recovery

Tuesday, March 22 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM GMT

Session 2 

SS07 II. Mitigating Covid-19 in Urban Asia: Insights from South and Southeast Asian Megacities on the Politics of Lockdowns

Wednesday, March 23 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM GMT

With your contribution, we hope that our cross-comparison analysis will reveal significant gaps in how current policies will address COVID 19 impacts on marginalised subgroups in the case cities/countries. We hope to identify critical lessons on effective state and non-state strategies, processes and actions that can promote inclusive response to the ongoing pandemic and future shocks and offer key policy recommendations drawing on locally grounded and regionally informed policy analysis that attend to the specific vulnerabilities and needs of the urban informal workers.

Thank you in advance for your help.

From the University of Melbourne Project Team and Partners Institutions