See the latest information and resources from Elrha in relation to coronavirus (Covid-19)

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Principal Investigator: Dr. Karin Diaconu (Queen Margaret University)


The study aims to understand how health systems can be resilient in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and disease outbreaks generally, particularly in contexts where systems cater to the needs of refugees living in densely populated areas. Further to this, the study will explore how community trust relates to the resilience of systems, including the effectiveness of their routine delivery of services and epidemic response measures.

Dr. Karin Diaconu

Principal Investigator

The resilience of health systems is increasingly being studied, however until now there has been limited emphasis on understanding how resilience relates to community trust in systems and inclusive, effective and equitable service delivery and crisis response. This study seeks to explore this relationship via a case-study of UNRWA and identify transferable lessons and strategies for nurturing resilience in other health systems globally.

Expected Outcomes

The study will directly inform UNRWA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Gaza and Lebanon. Findings on stressors and wellbeing, and resilience of communities, health and social care workers, and wider UNRWA systems, will be made available to decision-makers to inform contextually tailored pandemic responses. Findings on how trust in UNRWA relates to the effectiveness of both routine service delivery and COVID-19 response in the two settings will inform programming of UNRWA and other agencies operating in the region.

The project will pay particular attention to the needs and outcomes of persons affected by chronic diseases, mothers and children and disabled populations. More widely, findings will contribute to ongoing debates on health system and community resilience, including on how best to nurture resilience capacities in other health systems globally.

Health staff at Beit Hanoun Health Centre in Gaza wearing full personal protective equipment to protect themselves and others from the transmission of COVID-19 virus. @ 2020 UNRWA Photo by Dr. Nisreen Halabi

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