UN releases York-led Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery

Featured illustration of the novel coronavirus

The United Nations launched the UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery Nov. 17, a report led by York University Professor Steven J. Hoffman in his role as scientific director of the Institute of Population & Public Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Steven Hoffman

Hoffman is also the director of the Global Strategy Lab and the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology in York’s Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School. 

Building on the work of the UN COVID-19 economic and social recovery plan, the UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery is intended to ensure national and international strategies are informed by rigorous evidence generated in anticipation of, and during, the COVID-19 recovery period.

Hoffman was invited by UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed in June 2020 to lead this UN effort to rapidly develop a global research strategy for the post-pandemic socio-economic recovery. He was supported in carrying out this work by his team at the CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health, which is hosted by York University. 

“We live in a world where people, systems and generations are all interdependent, which means the actions we take today during COVID-19 must simultaneously work towards a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future. Science represents the world’s best chance for guiding the attainment of that better future,” said Hoffman.

The UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery links urgent research initiatives to a unifying global framework and advocates for policies that are informed by evidence, address inequalities and place peoples’ human rights at the centre. It outlines 25 research priorities, five priorities for each of the five pillars of the UN’s socio-economic recovery framework:  

  1. Health systems and services
  2. Social protection and basic services
  3. Economic response and recovery programs
  4. Macroeconomic policies and multilateral collaboration
  5. Social cohesion and community resilience

The UN Research Roadmap draws on the knowledge of a global community of researchers, funding agencies, governments and other international institutions. It engaged more than 250 researchers, implementers, funders and citizens internationally to identify priority knowledge needs and research areas for rebuilding after the pandemic and safeguarding progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

In her message that opens the Roadmap document, Mohammed thanks all who participated in and supported its creation, “in particular Professor Steven J. Hoffman and his colleagues at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.”

“This Roadmap demonstrates what is possible through international collaboration and the United Nations,” writes Mohammed. “By working together, we will recover better and create strong, healthy, prosperous communities in our interdependent world.” 

York University is a global leader in the UN’s SDGs, recently ranking 33rd out of 767 universities around the world by Times Higher Education.