COVID-19 Case Study: ResilientAfrica Network's Response in Uganda
This case study focuses on the example of the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) - a program based at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda originally established with USAID support - and illustrates how RAN’s multifaceted response to the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the unique, crucial role that HEIs play within national and international development, particularly during times of crisis.
Due to a sudden lockdown in mid-March 2020, RAN initially halted all activities. However, based on prior experience with Ebola and Zika, RAN’s technical team quickly convened a virtual co-creation meeting to determine how to adapt to the new reality of COVID-19. The team identified two priorities: 1) identify and execute “low-hanging fruit” actions that address urgent needs and 2) adapt regular RAN activities, such as innovation support, research, and capacity building, to fit within the new pandemic realities. Low-hanging fruit included areas of need with RAN solutions already in progress, areas of need that required low-cost solutions, and immediate capacity-building needs.