COVINFORM: Project on social, behavioural and mental health-related issues kicked off

The COVINFORM project kicked off with a two-day virtual meeting on 5 and 11 November 2020. Bringing together 16 partners from 11 countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the UK) in a highly ambitious research and innovation project, discussions were centred around the scope of the project, methodological approaches and interdisciplinary of the consortium. With research partners from different disciplines and practitioner partners working on the front-line, these discussions are crucial to ensure a smooth progress of the project.

The mix of practitioners and researchers is crucial to COVINFORM’s success. Rather than applying a top-down approach from a purely research-centred perspective, we combine a top-down, research-centred with a bottom-up, practitioner-centred approach. This ensures that the day-to-day challenges and struggles of practitioners are given consideration in the research process.

Vulnerable groups at the centre

At the centre of all COVINFORM research are the consideration of the variety of often interlinked factors that impact vulnerable groups throughout the pandemic. Groups such as health workers, risk groups, older people, children, migrants and several others have been unproportionally hit by the pandemic. The shift of communication means towards online tools, as well as the vast amount of misinformation and disinformation have further added to the vulnerability of these groups.

COVINFROM aims to understand how the different measures and COVID-19 responses impacted vulnerable groups and individuals. Importantly, we want to look at power dimensions that cause vulnerabilities, rather than using ‘vulnerability’ as a defining category for particular groups.

Bi-monthly reports on research outcomes

COVINFORM will report on insights of our research throughout the entire project in the form of bi-monthly reports that include a variety of different formats: from written reports to videos to podcasts and webinars. The bi-monthly reports will cover several different topics, following the general structure and aim of the project. Most importantly, we will investigate government and public health responses, as well as citizen and community responses, and communication, (mis-)information and disinformation throughout the pandemic. We will follow a logic of case studies, and investigate the national level of different European countries, as well as the local and community level.

First insights will be reported in January 2021 already – stay tuned!


Read more about the project in our Press Release.


Author: Diotima Bertel, SYNYO