Category: Beyond the COVID Curve

Public-Private Partnerships during COVID-19: time to ask some questions

To say that the world was not prepared for a pandemic is an understatement. The point was made early on that in order to overcome COVID-19 and make it to the other side, it was “all hands-on deck”. This included individuals, health experts, governments, the private sector and – the focus of this piece –… Read more »

Chronicling Smittestopp: Game on. Game over. Blame games.

April 16, 2020, the Norwegian COVID-19 tracking app Smittestopp was launched to great fanfare. The app was presented as crucial to the effort of saving lives and curbing infection rates. September 28 it was finally over, although the post-mortem dissection of the app has been unusually acrimonious for the Norwegian context. Smittestopp 1.0 will be replaced… Read more »

Coronavirus Tracking Apps: Normalizing Surveillance During States of Emergency

The global coronavirus pandemic has prompted states to rush to embrace digital surveillance tools such as contact tracing apps as quick fixes and policy responses to the crisis. Understandably, a lot of sophisticated yet questionable new technological solutions have been hurriedly deployed due to the severity of the pandemic. However, such technologies raise serious concerns… Read more »

COVID-19 puts India’s e-governance infrastructure and innovation to the test

India’s e-governance and digitalization drive harnesses ‘smart’ technology in an effort to generate new economic opportunities, boost economic growth, govern more efficiently with less corruption, and distribute relief and benefits to the poor and disadvantaged more effectively. In April 2015, India’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a National… Read more »

Peer Review and Societal Impact of COVID-19 Research

In this final instalment of our blog series marking this year’s Peer Review Week, Senior Research Nicholas Marsh looks at how Reddit users are accessing research on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and finds that non-peer-reviewed publications pose a real challenge to peer-reviewed publications as a way to disseminate research to the general public. This points… Read more »

The COVID-19 Tracking Apps Ecosystem Unraveled: Critical Issues for Global Health

In March and April 2020, an ecosystem of tracing apps suddenly emerged, presenting digital solutions as indispensable for winning the battle against Covid-19. A few months later, the techno-optimism has subsided drastically, ranging from a perception that apps are problematic surveillance tools (Russia, Bahrain and Kuwait) or ineffective (Singapore, France and Iceland) to the more… Read more »

The Pitfalls of Societal Impact in a Politicized Environment: An Example from the Corona Era

The British magazine The Spectator referred to research published in Norway to back up the magazine’s claim that societal lockdowns are not an effective means to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections. This unlikely occurrence highlights some of the difficulties in ensuring that research has a societal impact. Funders and taxpayers reasonably expect that research… Read more »

Children in Lockdown: Children’s Rights, Covid-19 and the Case of Norway

“The lost generation of the Covid-19 pandemic is not those at risk over 65, but our children and youth, particularly at present here in Larvik municipality. We communicate with children subjected to violence by siblings, threats, mothers who cry all day, children with mentally ill parents, parents with drug and substance abuse problems, parents in… Read more »

The COVID-19 Crisis Spotlights Criticality of Women’s Participation and UNSCR 1325: A Policy-Research Exchange

Women are often on the periphery of formal peace and political solutions with limited decision-making power. We argue that the current COVID-19 crisis has spotlighted three critical elements affecting women’s participation which need to be tackled in the upcoming 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325, the first UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security;… Read more »

The Role of State-Supported Disinformation in the Wake of COVID-19

On April 1 the European External Action Service (EEA) released a report alleging China and Russia had carried out a coordinated disinformation campaign around the origin and the spread of COVID-19 to sway public opinion abroad and create divisions among EU members. The report claims that China and Russia are spreading targeted disinformation through their… Read more »