Pandemic Preparedness and What have We Really Learned from COVID-19 So Far?

Background: The second year of the COVID-19 epidemic has demonstrated that present systems are severely challenged by the complexity and intersectoral effects around the world. Quick fixes and problem-solving in a fractioned, comparative manner are no longer viable options. Even Nevertheless, there appears to be a belief that repeating the same actions will yield different consequences.
The goal of this session is to go over some of the best practises, lessons learned, and progress made in some of the evaluations. At the same time, this is an opportunity to recognise the progress made so far in Pandemic Preparedness while also highlighting the possibility of considering an alternative, system theory approach – David Gershon’s concept of social transformation 2.0.

Findings: As the pandemic advances through different stages, the level of complexity for sectors, systems, and governments around the world is unparalleled. Several documents have been compiled to guarantee that progress is achieved in this area. More assessments to identify best practises and gaps are planned to aid governments in their efforts to ensure the safety of their citizens and contribute to global health security. Apart from certain categories being the same or similar, a rising number of instruments are being developed to assist governments in keeping track of current pandemic preparedness measures. The assessment reports revealed that each evaluation had its own set of indications and functions. While the focus was on finding gaps, there is limited information on the progress made and potential overlaps. Nonetheless, there is a lot of good purpose behind these assessments, as well as a significant amount of labour and resources. Interoperability, or connecting the dots, appeared to be supplanted by intersectional activism, in which diverse entities must leave a mark with single-sided solutions rather than a collaborative (behavior-driven), systematic, comprehensive, and integrated approach in the form of integrated programmes.
Conclusion: Everyone involved in pandemic preparedness and management, particularly frontline personnel, deserves credit for their tremendous efforts. Fractioned approaches continue to emerge from various evaluations’ best practises and lessons learned, and they certainly suggest a mindset shift away from the concept that insufficient structures and processes may serve as a strong basis. Identifying gaps isn’t enough anymore. Pandemic preparedness is suggested to be an element of systems theory, namely the concept of social transformation 2.0.

Author (S) Details

Erika Wichro
Peacebuilding and Partners Sarl, Switzerland.

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