Chapter 6.1 Health EDRM research in the context of COVID-19

Authors: Qudsia Huda, Mike Clarke, Virginia Murray, Emily Y.Y. Chan. Chi Shing Wong, Ankur Rakesh, and Ryoma Kayano

Chapter 6.1 describes the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other concurrent emergencies on health emergency and disaster risk management (Health EDRM) research.

What is this chapter about? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a drastic human toll, and the economic and social impacts of the pandemic continue to reverberate globally. There was a rapid rush to conduct research into the virus and the illness and considerable impact on the design, conduct, reporting and use of research into aspects of Health EDRM for managing other emergencies and disasters, including concurrent ones during the pandemic.

This chapter will help researchers using other chapters in this book to plan, conduct and communicate Health EDRM research in the context of COVID-19 and concurrent risks from all hazards, including epidemics and future pandemics. It outlines key challenges and lessons for Health EDRM research and includes five case studies of Health EDRM research in the context of COVID-19.

Case studies presented in the chapter 

  1. Infodemic management: WHO’s special program to address false or misleading information in digital and physical environments during the pandemic
  2. Establishing an international and multidisciplinary research team to investigate risk information and negative psychological and behavioural consequences during
  3. Evidence syntheses and COVID-19
  4. WHO Global Priorities for COVID-19 Research
  5. Strategic risk assessment in Bangladesh

What are the key messages of this chapter?  

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in many ways.
  • In the first 16 months of the pandemic, tens of thousands of research studies, and thousands of systematic reviews were initiated, leading to an overwhelming volume of research and a vast amount of evidence for decision makers and practitioners to navigate through during the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There has also been a considerable impact on how research into aspects of Health EDRM is designed, conducted, reported and used in managing other similar types of emergencies and disasters, including concurrent ones during the pandemic.
  • Future research in Health EDRM needs to learn from the lessons identified during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that research is prioritized appropriately, coordinated well and reported clearly if it is to provide the evidence needed by decision makers managing the risks, including planning for and responding to ongoing and future emergencies and disasters, including disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.
  • Greater engagement in Health EDRM research will be key to provide evidence from health and non-health sectors that can inform all relevant policy and practice for managing current and future risks from all emergencies and disasters that communities and countries are exposed to.






Further Reading