Traditional risk and vulnerability assessments consider the impact of risks in isolation from one another and, hence, do not take account of the interactions between risks. These interactions create a system of associated risks and outcomes, where the outcomes of risks are risks themselves and where the resulting consequences can be complex. Risks are a system where a single risk can cause a plethora of other risks, and, in particular, cause vicious cycles of risks. The challenge is urgent: the risk literature calls for substantial research and development of systemic risk assessment and mitigation. The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated this urgent need and proved Gro Harlem Brundtland’s dictum “everything is connected” to be forcefully valid to the health and care sector, and moreover that all sectors of society were impacted and impacted back on the health and care sector.
The project will begin with an evaluation of the preparedness and response to Covid-19 in the Kristiansand metropolitan area. An early project outcome will be a consultancy service expected to be in high demand by the health and care sector, but also by businesses in Norway and internationally. As the project unfolds, consultancy will be enhanced by tool modules. The final outcome will be a tool allowing public sector entities, and private corporations, to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments with full consideration of the systemic inter-dependencies, and to develop preparedness and responses to a pandemic, within the health and care sector and externally with sectors affecting the health and care sector. Tool and method will be validated with partners in Norway, Italy and Sweden.
Systemic Pandemic Risk Management will provide state of the art tools and methods to improve preparedness and response to pandemic crises within the health and care sector, but also in any public organizations and in enterprises vulnerable to economic consequences of pandemics, such as airlines, cruise lines, insurance companies, etc.