Learners worldwide will soon have access to the MOOC Health Emergency Response to a Pandemic via the FutureLearn platform. The course distils findings of the HERoS project.
The MOOC is composed of four modules. In the first module, participants will be introduced to the assessment of pandemic scenarios and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty. The second module will be dedicated to identifying governance issues and the evaluation of various pandemic responses. In the third module, gaps in medical supply chains, as well as possible solutions, will be discussed. The final module will tackle online misinformation in the context of a public health emergency.
The course content is developed by researchers at Hanken School of Economics, Vrije University Amsterdam, Technical University of Delft and the Open University in collaboration with practitioners working at organisations specialised in humanitarian operations (Italian Red Cross, Polish Centre for International Aid Foundation, Project HOPE), healthcare system analysis (Nordic Healthcare Group), drone operations (SQUADRON), and data visualisation (Polish Space Research Centre).
The MOOC will be launched on the FutureLearn platform in early February 2023. This is an ‘always on’ course, meaning that users can take the course independently at any time. Facilitated sessions will also be offered, and the first one is scheduled in March 2023.
The ethnographic film We thought it would be fun made by two researchers at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Lianne Cremers and Cato Janssen, will be premiered on 25 October at the Spinoza Lyceum in Amsterdam.
Based on extensive visual ethnographic research conducted within the HERoS project in close collaboration with the research respondents, the film shows students’ and teachers’ experiences of the COVID-19 crisis response in secondary schools. The film focuses on adolescents, who are less vulnerable to the virus, but are paradoxically suffering from COVID-19 mitigation strategies and bearing heavy psychosocial burden.
The film screening will be followed by a facilitated dialogue between national, regional, and local stakeholders in the secondary school sector. These stakeholders include amongst others students, teachers, and school principals as well as the Ministry of Education, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the General Union of Education (AOb), and the National Action Committee for School Students (LAKS). Afterwards, participants will visit an art exhibition with 20 artworks made by students involved in the research.
A new HERoS publication in the International Journal of Operations & Production Management analyses the different types of disruptions affecting the PPE supply chain during the pandemic and outlines mitigation strategies fit to the global scale and the many interdependencies characteristic of the pandemic.
HERoS research by Nordic Healthcare Group was published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. The article questions whether current measures for pandemic preparedness reflect preparedness adequately in light of COVID-19 mortality.
The HERoS project will hold a briefing session on 10 May 2022 at 11h CET as part of Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks – an event organised by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – to present research findings of the past year. In-person and online participation are possible.
The project looks closely into the COVID-19 pandemic and its responses across the world in order to provide policy recommendations to better prepare stakeholders for such pandemics in the future. The project is performed in collaboration with 11 partner organizations, including universities and humanitarian aid organizations. There are six overarching objectives. To understand different governance arrangements; to improve the predictions of the spread; to improve the management of medical supply chains; to reduce the impacts of cascading effects across globalized supply chains; To understand and tackle the detrimental effects of misinformation. To develop training modules for epidemics response and disseminate results to a broader audience.
COVID-19 Crisis Governance: responding to challenges in nursing homes in Europe – Lianne Cremers and Cato Janssen
This study assessed collaborative governance of the long-term care sector in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic constituted a wicked problem, because of the numerous ways in which political and social stakeholders were affected by the disease and its associated mitigation strategies. The risks of the crisis were compounded by existing high levels of vulnerability interconnected with challenges such as overburdened healthcare systems, disruptive socio-economic impacts, and secondary crises like organizational traumas. Using a whole-of-society approach combined with a focus on resilience and organizational healing, we conducted visual ethnographic research in the Netherlands, Finland, and Ireland.
Do we need to violate people’s privacy to build better models and predictions? – Mikhail Sirenko
Predictive analytics and anticipatory action are becoming increasingly popular in humanitarian emergencies. The underlying models have to be precise to be useful. In a disease outbreak, precision refers to how well a model can estimate the number of infections and explain the causes behind a potential increase or a decrease. A popular approach in building precise models is to use sensitive data from mobile phones or so-called microdata, which has individual records about age, place of work, etc. Such an approach is especially problematic in humanitarian contexts, as privacy violations may put people’s safety and well-being at risk. In addition, in humanitarian contexts, microdata is often just not available. While using a mobile phone or microdata for the common good is an ongoing and open debate, in this talk, we aim to explore to what extent its use is required to build a precise model and what alternative approaches can offer. It is work-in-progress research where we will present the main elements of the methodology and draw some preliminary insights based on it.
Changes in health status of elderly in long-term care during COVID-19 – Ira Haavisto
Countries, as well as population groups within a country, have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways. Some of the most affected have been the elderly in society. In this study, we have analyzed the change in the health status of the elderly in long-term care in Finland during national social distancing restrictions due to the pandemic in comparison to the health status pre-COVID-19. The health status of the elderly was identified with results from the standardized RAI assessment system. The RAI assessment includes indicators related to functional capacity, memory and mood, rehabilitation and special therapies, service use, participation, and activity, as well as support from family members.
Assessing Economic impact of COVID-19 – Abdelsalam Hamid Abakar
We answer how the COVID-19 has impacted economic indicators such as sales growth, investment growth, stock return, and buyer-supplier relationships.
Drone simulation of delivering emergency goods – Grzegorz Trzeciak
Nowadays, drones are part of our reality. Although we know them as aerial filming equipment, the scope of their use is much wider. COVID-19 changed the concept of an isolated region and thus paved the way for air transport using UAVs. In the HERoS project, we deal with the issue of both the conceptual design of the UAV cargo, but also the organization of the entire humanitarian aid supply chain using drones. The construction of the heart of the UAV system, i.e. the Ground Contorl Station, and computer simulation that allows you to check the assumptions of the system in simulated conditions, come in handy.
Monitoring, understanding, and influencing the co-Spread of COVID-19 misinformation and fact-checks – Gregoire Burel
Correcting misconceptions and false beliefs are important for inserting reliable information about COVID-19 into public discourse, but what impact does this have on the continued proliferation of misinforming claims? How can we track their impact over time? What is the best way to inform individuals about the misinformation they share? Using more than 3 years of data collected from Twitter and fact-checking organisations, we discuss the relation between fact-checking and misinformation across topics and demographics. We then proceed to show how the Fact-checking Observatory, a website that generates human-readable weekly reports automatically about the spread of covid-related misinformation and fact-checks can be used for monitoring such information over time. Finally, we analyse early results about the effectiveness of our Twitter bot in reducing individual sharing of misinforming content.
HERoS research by Nordic Healthcare Group was published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. The article questions whether current measures for pandemic preparedness reflect preparedness adequately in light of COVID-19 mortality. Read the article...