The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic and health systems around the globe is well-documented. COVID-19 has disproportionately affected vulnerable communities, impacted the well-being of health care workers, and changed people’s everyday lives markedly.
Communities, local and national governments, public health agencies, and first responders have provided frontline support from the start, coordinating responses to the many unprecedented challenges facing our society. After more than one year, it is time to share and evaluate the challenges, remediation efforts, and best practices of the pandemic response. There are valuable lessons we can use to improve current response and recovery efforts, emergency preparedness, and response protocols for future crisis events.
As agencies and organizations in all sectors approach this process, Mathematica and the Public Health Foundation (PHF) have partnered to provide an evidence-informed resource that offers a path forward. This resource, the COVID-19 After Action Review toolkit, is available for free online. The central tenets of the toolkit—response, recovery, and resilience—guide the after-action review and enable stakeholders to thoroughly document how to take their COVID-19 response from initial engagement to a continuous cycle of improvement and learning.
“The After Action Review toolkit is designed to help lay the groundwork for achieving system improvements that address future challenges without overwhelming emergency response systems and the emergency response workforce,” said PHF President Ron Bialek. “When more immediate action is needed, organizations can use the toolkit to quickly identify processes to help improve their current response work.”
Mathematica Senior Researcher Tricia Higgins added, “This toolkit’s ability to provide guidance on a trauma-informed, equity-based after-action review stands out as particularly important for evaluating steps taken during the pandemic. The vast impact of COVID-19 in the United States and throughout the world, and the prevalence of the ‘three Rs’ (response, recovery, and resilience), require such an approach.”
Visit the toolkit on the topic.