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Health Systems responses to COVID-19

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Epidemiology & Public Health, Healthcare Delivery & Policy, Politics, Governance & Law, Social Impacts

Participants in this research project are interested in understanding how different features of health systems, including their governance, financing and organization, have shaped how countries and states have responded to COVID-19. This research will also document key institutional, and political features of different countries, and trace how these features have impacted responses to COVID-19 and the overall effectiveness of the response. Through international comparative research, the project seeks both to inform short-term decision-making among country governments and international agencies, as well as addressing longer term research questions.

The aim of the project is to document key institutional, organizational, and political features of different countries, and trace the casual impact of these features on responses to COVID-19 and their effectiveness. The nearly universal, rapid, and time-staggered implementation of significant epidemic control measures and the nearly universal tracking of those measures and their impact will make this unprecedented effort possible. The project seeks to provide answers to the following questions: 

  • What are significant macro (national/regional system level) factors that condition the organization of key public health functions in an emergency such as COVID-19 and how is their influence reflected in the governance and organization of the agencies charged with carrying out those functions and communicating with the public?
  • What effects to differences in the governance and organization of the public health agencies have on the types and intensity and timing of actions taken in response to COVID-19 and on the implementation effectiveness of those actions and their effectiveness in altering progress of the emergency?
  • What “best practices” related legislation, authority, funding, management, and other determinants of organizational effectiveness can be learned from the COVID-19 emergency and how can these be incorporated into future preparedness efforts?

To develop answers to these questions, the project will use a mixed method, comparative prospective case study approach applied in a range of national and sub-national jurisdictions across the world. It will develop a partnership across interested researchers and policy makers.

Collaboration opportunities:
We are seeking collaborators in the areas of public health, political science, and methodological skills as well as researchers with relevant regional/country-specific specialization.