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Evaluation of the response to COVID-19 in Kristiansand

The COVID-19 response in the city of Kristiansand and the Hospital of Southern Norway will be evaluated. Centre for Integrated Emergency Management and the consulting firm Stepchange will perform the evaluation.

Photo of a nurse looking through a window
The Systemic Pandemic Risk Management project will look at how we can improve the handling of pandemics such as COVID-19. (Photo: The Hospital of Southern Norway)

The Research Council has allocated NOK 7.6 million to the Systemic Pandemic Risk Management (SPRM) project through a programme for industry-oriented research on health innovation in relation to COVID-19. The project has a total budget of NOK 12 million.

“This is very good, and we are pleased with the allocation. Our main concern is how we can handle pandemics like COVID-19 better, from a systemic point of view, and what we can learn from what we see”, says Executive Research Advisor Jose J. Gonzalez in the strategic consulting firm Stepchange.

Gonzales is also professor emeritus at the University of Agder (UiA).

In addition to the Centre for Integrated Emergency Management (CIEM) and UiA, the partners in the project are Kristiansand municipality, the Hospital of Southern Norway, the Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine (CRIMEDIM) at the University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy, and the Center for Disaster Medicine and Traumatology (KMC) in Sweden. 

Comprehensive risk and vulnerability analyses

The main goal is to develop a tool that allows public enterprises and private companies to carry out risk and vulnerability assessments with a complete assessment of the systemic interdependencies, and to develop preparedness and response capabilities to a pandemic threat in the health and care sector, and externally with sectors that affect the health and care sector.

To achieve this, work is organised in four parts. They are:

  • Carry out a systemic evaluation of the COVID-19 preparedness and response of Kristiansand municipality and the hospital
  • Develop, test and validate modelling scripts for data collection on risk as a system
  • Develop, test and validate an automated method for identifying risk scenarios within pandemic risk systems
  • Develop, test and validate a method for analysing the impact and mitigation of risk scenarios within pandemic risk systems

Multiple factors 

Through their work, the parties will explore and develop methods and technologies for systemic risk and vulnerability analyses (ROS) and risk management that make it possible to address multiple different risk factors simultaneously.

“The scientific literature calls for such methods, because so far ROS has only been able to deal with isolated risks,” says Jose J. Gonzalez.

“COVID-19 has demonstrated that pandemic risk affects numerous risk factors, even in the health sector, in addition to economic, social, national and even international factors - all of which in turn affect the risk factors of the pandemic and the means to deal with a complex network of vicious circles that reinforce each other”, he says.

The project will also evaluate the COVID-19 response in Italy and Sweden in collaboration with the project's Italian and Swedish partners.

SPRM builds on methods that were first used in the Smart Mature Resilience project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme, where CIEM was the scientific coordinator.