COVID-19 Response

Accelerate Hub COVID-19 Response

Our Accelerate Hub’s overriding objective is impact. And therefore, when a global crisis is going to fundamentally affect the lives of people in several countries where we are active and globally, it is our scientific and moral imperative to be agile to meet their new needs. Below is summary of our team’s activities around COVID-19. This page will be updated regularly.

COVID-19 Parenting Tips

In a month, our child abuse prevention resources have reached 34 million families in 178 countries. They are translated into 80+ languages and disseminated by governments including Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, France, Germany, Iceland, Kenya, Malaysia, Montenegro, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uganda, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. Social media includes reach to 12 million people through WHO’s WhatsApp system.

Impact stories

Our Chinese translation of COVID-19 Parenting Tips Sheets are being shared on WEIBO platform (a microblogging website, one of the biggest social media platforms in China) together with several Weibo influencers.

The Red Cross in Montenegro is distributing the tips as part of food parcels for low income families.

These messages were distributed to almost 900 CCIs and 30 SCIs in Kenya by the Dept of Children Services’ Children Coordinators/Officers as per the directive of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection’s Principle Secretary.

Minister of Children and Vice Minister of Education in Paraguay are posting online and hope to print and distribute with food kits they are giving out to more vulnerable families.

Adolescent Engagement and Participation

The Adolescent Engagement and Participation team (Dr Lesley Gittings, Ms Nosipiwo Lawrence, Ms Nokubonga Ralayo & Mr Nabeel Petersen) is starting participatory research activities with young people on their experiences of COVID-19 in South Africa and Kenya. These activities will provide lived experiences of the pandemic response among adolescents and young people and help the Hub design additional research on the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent lives.

Pandemic and mental health

Olayinka Omigbodun was published in African Arguments for her article on mitigating mental health impacts of COVID for young Africans. Read the full article here.

Pandemic and economic impact

Mind and Behaviour Group
This group, led by Dr. Kate Orkin, has an updated COVID-19 section and received extensive media coverage. Kate has conducted a number of interviews discussing cash-transfers and South Africa’s stimulus package. Further details available here.

Coronavirus Meets Hunger Pandemic: Give The Poor Cash Grants To Prevent A Food Crisis?
How to prevent a hunger crisis due to COVID-19? Using examples from around the world and drawing on findings from rigorous research, Dr Kate Orkin argues that cash-transfers are an effective tool for low and middle-income countries and debunks some of the negative myths surrounding them.

National Level COVID-19 Response

Dr. Mona Ibrahim is co-developing a research-based response to COVID infection with the Sudanese Ministry of Health, as well as discussing plans around suitable restrictions for the country.

Early Career Researcher Nontokozo Langwena is working with the eSwatini Ministry of Health in South Africa to do evidence reviews and community consultations on myths and evidence for COVID prevention.

South Africa
Prof. Mark Orkin is providing statistical support to South African nationally representative COVID surveys of preventative behaviors and social protection responses. Prof. Mark Orkin also co-wrote an article about South Africa’s Department of Basic Education’s proposal to reopen schools.

Study Level COVID-19 Response

The HEY BABY team will start interviews with healthcare providers and young moms on their COVID-19 experiences and how the pandemic is impacting their lives.

Mzantsi Wakho
Mzantsi Wakho team (Dr Elona Toska and Prof. Lucie Cluver) provided feedback on a WHO information note on adolescent HIV and COVID-19.


The UNDP hosted a webinar on “Youth Partnerships on Research and Data: A Game-Changer for an Inclusive COVID-19 Response” where Dr. Mona Ibrahim, and Early Career researchers Will Rudgard and Silinganisiwe Dzumbunu presented. The webinar was attended by over 200 participants across organisations.