The outbreak of the COVID-19 in Southeast Asia, as in the rest of the world, has exposed the interaction of biological and socio-economic processes; the implications of health and socio-economic inequity on people well-being; and the political dimensions of health and health governance. Clearly the pandemic is caused by a virus, but understanding it, controlling it and reducing its human costs depends also on social knowledge and interventions. This raises the question: To what degree social science and scientists have been involved in national COVID-19 responses across the region to address the pandemic’s multi-dimensional effects? To reflect on this, SEA Junction in collaboration with the Asia Research Center at the University of Indonesia (ARC-UI) and the Global Development Network (GDN), Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University will host the online event on 24 November, 4.00 to 5.30 pm (Bangkok time, GMT+7).
This panel is part of a research project co-led by ARC-UI and GDN and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada –in which SEA Junction was involved. The project looked at the role of social sciences in COVID-19 responses across 11 countries in South and South East Asia and examined the formal inclusion of social science knowledge and scientists in the COVID response mechanisms; the funding for social research in regards to the pandemic; the research-policy interactions; and the emerging research and initiatives led by social scientists in the region. At the heart of this project is the belief that thriving and independent social sciences are key to illuminating the social, economic, political, psychological and cultural determinants of health and societal resilience, within and across nations, and that social sciences have a key role to play not only in ‘normal’ times, but also during crises. Yet, the experience of the region during the on-going COVID-19 crisis compels us to more openly articulate the urgency of social scientists’ contribution as part of a comprehensive narrative and effective response to this pandemic as also argued by the following article co-authored by Rosalia Sciortino and Fabio Saini at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7462543/.
Tentative Agenda 24 November at 4.00-5.30 pm via Zoom (Link: https://bit.ly/SEAJunction-24NOV) and Facebook Live
- Francesco Obino, Head of Programs, Global Development Network
- Dr. Inaya Rakhmani, Director, ARC-UI, Indonesia
- Dr. Kian Woon Kwok, Professor & Associate Vice-President (Wellbeing), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
- Dr. Rosalia Sciortino, Associate Professor Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Mahidol University and Director, SEA Junction, Thailand
- Dr. Vedi Hadiz, Director and Professor of Asian Studies at the Asia Institute, the University of Melbourne