Studies continue despite pandemic and some are modified to examine its impacts

implementation research document imageFor Alive & Thrive’s portfolio of implementation research activities, the pandemic has required adjustments. But it has also allowed researchers to adapt studies to investigate the impacts of the disease.

A summary of implementation research studies indicates delays due to COVID-19, which were inevitable as lockdowns prevented research activities and the program activities that were the focus of study. In India and Bangladesh, however, modifications and additions have allowed researchers to consider the impact of the pandemic.

In India, a qualitative study building on maternal nutrition implementation research has been completed in the states of Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh to understand the effect of COVID-19 on health and nutrition service delivery, especially the positive adaptations to service delivery.

The survey of frontline workers and households seeks to identify solutions to strengthen the delivery and uptake of essential health and nutrition interventions in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

Secondarily, the survey explores the effect of COVID-19 on households’ exposure to health and nutrition services and communications, their nutrition practices, food security, and other aspects of their lives.

In Bangladesh, researchers have started a phone survey with FLWs and their clients in urban areas, which, in conjunction with on-going implementation research, seeks to understand the effect of COVID-19 on health and nutrition services, with a focus on positive adaptations. The qualitative study aims to elicit feasible solutions to strengthen the delivery and uptake of essential health and nutrition interventions in the context of COVID-19.

Secondarily, the survey explored the effect of COVID-19 on households’ access to health and nutrition services and communications, their nutrition practices, food security, and other aspects of their livelihoods.

Analysis of data from these studies will shed light on the extent of the pandemic’s impacts and help identify ways to mitigate those impacts.