COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Adaptations by International Community Access to Child Health (ICATCH) Projects in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Global pediatric health






COVID-19; ICATCH; adaptation; child health; grant; resiliency


The health personnel in low/low and middle-income countries have faced significant challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Community Access to Child Health (ICATCH) grants support locally initiated projects in those countries. The aim of this study was to highlight how the challenges countered by grant project teams continuing their projects and demonstrating their skills to adapt to an increasingly difficult environment. This was a mixed methodology study for which data were obtained from the evaluation of annual reports submitted by the projects. The annual reports review comprised of answers to questions on whether project objectives were met, problems or barriers encountered, and reviewer feedback in the form of specific concerns or recommendations. The reports were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. A total of 34 (92%) of annual reports were included with 17 (94%) received in 2020 and 17 (89%) in 2021. Compared to 2020, in 2021 the projects that indicated meeting objectives increased by more than half from 29% to 58%. Over one third of the projects encountered barriers in both years. The percentage of projects with major concerns decreased by almost 2/3 in 2021 while unexpected expenses decreased by 1/3. Four themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: Concerns over COVID-19, Barriers to accomplishing project goals, Positivity around adaptations, and Despair over lack of ability to overcome challenges. ICATCH funded projects demonstrated resiliency and adaptations to meet program objectives despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrating greater success in 2021.