Policymakers and public health experts unanimously recognise the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable persons: even in countries with well-developed responses, the outbreak and its repercussions imperil the basic well-being of social groups whose livelihoods are already precarious, while the uneven distribution of suffering threatens to aggravate inequality and division. One complicating factor here is the intersectional nature of health and socioeconomic vulnerabilities. Another is the complexity of risk in contemporary socioecological systems.
Method and aim
The COVINFORM project will draw upon intersectionality theory and complex systems analysis in an interdisciplinary critique of COVID-19 responses on the levels of government, public health, community, and information and communications.
The project will conduct research on three levels:
- on an EU27 MS plus UK level, quantitative secondary data will be analysed and models will be developed;
- within 15 target countries, documentary sources on the national level and in at least one local community per country will be analysed
- in 10 target communities, primary empirical research will be conducted, utilising both classical and innovative quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g. visual ethnography, participatory ethnography, and automated analysis of short video testimonials).
Promising practices will be evaluated in target communities through case studies spanning diverse disciplines (social epidemiology, the economics of unpaid labour, the sociology of migration, etc.) and vulnerable populations (COVID-19 patients, precarious families, migrating health care workers, etc.).
The project will culminate in the development of an online portal and visual toolkit for stakeholders in government, public health, and civil society integrating data streams, indices and indicators, maps, models, primary research and case study findings, empirically grounded policy guidance, and creative assessment tools.
JMG's part in the COVINFORM project
The University of Gothenburg participates in the COVINFORM project through the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG), and will mainly contribute with analyzes and evaluation of how government authorities and agencies have communicated and informed about the pandemic.
More information about the COVINFORM project
The project runs from 2020 to 2023, and is founded by the EU Commission with a budget of 4 941 679 Euros.
Project leader is SYNYO GmBH in Austria, and the project involves the following 17 partners in 12 countries:
- SYNYO, Austria
- Organisation for Economic and Co-operation and Development, France
- Magen David Adom in Israel
- Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Spain
- Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
- Sinus Markt- und Sozialforschung, Germany
- Trilateral research, UK
- Kentro Meleton Asfaleias, Greece
- Factor Social, Portugal
- Österreichisches Rotes Kreuz, Austria
- Media Diversity Institute, UK
- Societatea Nationala de Cruce Rosie din Romania
- Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
- Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy
- Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain
- Swansea University, UK
- The Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG), University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Read more about COVINFORM on SYNYO's website for the project.