Assessing the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus crisis

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Assessing the impact of COVID-19: what are the challenges?

Coronavirus has turned our lives upside down, affecting every aspect of life: our day to day behaviours, the global economy and social life. As people are adapting to the new normal it is time to start looking at available data to learn lessons from governmental handling of the crisis across Europe.


The pandemic does not affect everyone equally with evidence highlighting the disproportionate impacts that COVID-19 has on vulnerable and marginalised groups. The interplay between various socioeconomic factors affects the total health risk faced by women, the elderly, low income individuals, health workers, and migrants.

Supporting data-driven decision making for policymakers and the healthcare sector

What tools can we use to properly assess the impact of the coronavirus crisis?

COVINFORM will holistically assess the social, economic, and political impacts of the COVID-19 crisis focusing on government, public health, and citizen responses and the role of information and communication during all stages of the pandemic. The project will also examine how European governments define and address vulnerability to COVID-19, if at all. COVINFORM partners will develop solutions, guidelines, and recommendations to mitigate health inequalities and improve the wellbeing of the most vulnerable individuals.

COVINFORM will employ data from:

  • a cross-analysis of pre-existing studies on national, regional and local levels to map the responses and assess the impact of the pandemic,
  • relevant dimensions of health, socioeconomic, political, and community vulnerabilities.


The findings will be used to create an online toolkit for governments, the civil service,  healthcare sector and researchers.

Social risk assessment models

As a part of the COVINFORM project, Trilateral is developing a risk assessment model to evaluate the response and impact of the pandemic on national, regional and local levels. The model will encompass desk-based research identifying relevant studies and data on responses to assess pandemic planning and preparedness processes. It will look at different governmental responses and their impact: from lockdown procedures, school closures, advising to wear masks to furlough schemes and economic stimuli.

The analysis will focus on various regulatory options to support the ethical and responsible development of pandemic preparedness plans.

Working with end-users to assess the true impact of the pandemic

In order to gain the full picture of how the governmental crisis management affected the population, Trilateral will conduct primary research on specific dimensions of governmental responses in the case study sites. We will also interview individuals from the general population, vulnerable groups as well as journalists and policymakers.

Effective COVID-19 risk communication practices

Trilateral will design and conduct primary research and perform content analysis of media to examine the communication strategies of governments and public health authorities. The research will identify good practices and lessons learnt in respect to communication, information and misinformation.

Policy advice to further pandemic preparedness

Trilateral will combine the results of the analysis and pre-existing resources to create a knowledge repository about the COVID-19 pandemic. It will encompass all the information that may be useful to governments, public health representatives and policymakers when addressing emergency medical situations such as pandemics in the future.

Enhancing Impact – engaging with change agents

Trilateral will identify relevant stakeholders in public healthcare and government to maximise the impact of the project. Furthermore, we will work with organisations focusing on similar projects to encourage policymakers to use tools developed by COVINFORM.

For more information and updates visit the COVIFORM project website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No 101016247.

Su Anson

Su Anson is Senior Research Manager at Trilateral Research.

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