Upstream determinants of effective COVID‑19 response: tools development and application through a case study in British Columbia

Berman, Peter | $118,575

British Columbia University of British Columbia 2021 CIHR Project Grant

In the midst of an acute crisis, researchers and governments have properly focussed on responding urgently to a rapidly evolving situation. This has resulted in a focus on interventions, their implementation, and their effectiveness. But the diverse experience of many countries suggests to us that there are critical « upstream » factors that need to be better understood and planned for to increase the likelihood of more positive outcomes. We refer to these factors as the institutional, organizational, governance, and political dimensions of the response to COVID‑19 or « IOGP » for short. The effectiveness of current and future responses to pandemics can be improved by learning about and documenting better and worse practices in relation to IOGP both retrospectively and prospectively in the current crisis. This proposal will support the development of tools for analyzing IOGP factors and their application in a case study linking IOGP factors to policy responses to COVID‑19 in British Columbia. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of British Columbia has formed to study how IOGP factors influence the effectiveness of jurisdictional responses to COVID‑19 across Canada. We have launched an initial pilot study, developing a theoretical framework, methods and instruments for data collection including comparative timeline, organizational mapping, and key event interview guides. This project will support further development of the definitions, concepts, methods, and measures that can be used to study these upstream factors and their implementation in BC and other provinces with local partners. The results will be used to identify better and worse practices in relation to laws, regulations, organizations, and political and governance processes that improve pandemic response. Better practices can inform different contexts in Canada and globally.

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