Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Involvement in The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

Meaningful Policy
COVID-19 | The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme

October 30, 2020

The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) forms a cooperation between nine partner countries including Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway.  The NPA is a part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, also known as Interreg and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Despite geographical differences, the regional partners share common features such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity, abundant natural resources, and high impact of climate change. This unique combination of features yields joint challenges and opportunities that can best be overcome and realized through transnational cooperation.[1]

As COVID-19 spread throughout Europe in spring 2020, the NPA monitoring committee agreed to support seven projects dedicated to what has become known as the “NPA COVID-19 Response Call”. Each of these projects address one of five themes aimed at understanding the impact of COVID-19 across the NPA region: (A) Clinical aspects, (B) Health and wellbeing, (C) Technology solution, (D) Citizen engagement/community response and (E) Economic impact and (F) Emerging themes.[2]

In collaboration with Baltic Sea Cluster Development Centre, Voluntās Policy Advisory (Voluntās) is currently involved in the “COVID19-Communities Response and Resilience” project targeting themes “Citizen engagement/community response” as well as “The Economic of Health Service Delivery”.

For the Communities Response and Resilience project, Voluntās are working closely with partners from the Regional Council of Kainuu, Finland; University of Oulu, Finland; Rural Area Partnership, Northern Ireland; NHS Western Isles, Scotland; Leitrim County Council, Ireland and British Red Cross, Shetland to examine the impact, resilience, and responses to COVID-19 on a community level in the NPA area.[3]  Collaborating with the Faroese Agricultural Agency has been focused on distributing three different questionnaires across the Faroe Islands. Having now completed the data collection phase, Voluntās will compile a regional report which will ultimately feed into the transnational report comparing findings across six regions.

The “COVID & Economics” project examines economic impacts and responses to COVID-19. It captures innovations and transformations that have taken place as a result of the pandemic, and sets out to create a roadmap for recommendations that will allow for more sustainable and resilient regional/local communities and economies across the NPA. In this project, Voluntās is working with partners from Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and northern Norway in order to gain insight into the effects on COVID-19 on these economies.

 

 

[1] http://www.interreg-npa.eu/about/programme-in-brief/

[2] http://www.interreg-npa.eu/for-applicants/covid-19-call/

[3] http://www.interreg-npa.eu/covid-19/npa-response-group-and-projects

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Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

Supporting UNICEF on the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya

Meaningful Policy
Case | COVID-19 | Libya

To support effective COVID-19 crisis communication and community outreach by the Libyan Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control, Voluntās Policy Advisory supported UNICEF in the development and implementation of a nationwide survey-based behavioral assessment in Libya. The assessment aimed at capturing a broad and in-depth understanding of the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya, including the impact of the pandemic on basic service delivery as well as health-seeking behaviors, mental health, dietary habits and social/economic situation of Libyans and migrants alike.

The assessment aimed at gaining an understanding of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices as to transmission, prevention and treatment of the virus as well as of risks, available services in targeted municipalities, and preferred sources of information on COVID-19. As such, the assessment will allow UNICEF, the Libyan National Centre Disease Control, and the Ministry of Health along with other UN agencies and partners to provide an informed response to COVID-19 as part of risk communication and community engagement efforts.

As part of the assessment, Voluntās supported UNICEF in the development and implementation of a nationwide telephone survey in Libya with regional representativity. The analysis highlighted differences between Libyan nationals and non-Libyans (migrant population) to identify unique challenges for vulnerable groups. In addition to the final report, an online dashboard was created with the possibility of disaggregating data by region, gender and status of respondents. The findings presented to UNICEF will feed into UNICEF’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya. A final report as well as a dashboard were shared with UNICEF, the National Centre for Disease Control and the Libyan Ministry of health, to support effective COVID-19 response efforts.

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