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COronavirus Vulnerabilities and INFOrmation dynamics Research and Modelling

Project description

COVID-19 impact on vulnerable groups

Policymakers and public health experts suggest COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable social groups, threatening to increase societal inequality and divisions. The intersectional nature of health, the social and economic vulnerabilities, and the complexity of risk in today’s socio-ecological systems emerge as the main reasons. The EU-funded COVINFORM project relies on intersectionality theory and complex systems analysis to analyse the COVID-19 responses at government, public health, community, and information and communications levels. The project will analyse quantitative secondary data and develop models on an EU-wide level, analyse documentary sources from 15 target countries, conduct primary empirical research in 10 target communities, and develop an online portal and visual toolkit for stakeholders.


Policymakers and public health experts unanimously recognise the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on vulnerable persons: even in countries with well-developed responses, the outbreak and its repercussions imperil the basic well-being of social groups whose livelihoods are already precarious, while the uneven distribution of suffering threatens to aggravate inequality and division. One complicating factor here is the intersectional nature of health and socioeconomic vulnerabilities. Another is the complexity of risk in contemporary socioecological systems. The COVINFORM project will draw upon intersectionality theory and complex systems analysis in an interdisciplinary critique of COVID-19 responses on the levels of government, public health, community, and information and communications. The project will conduct research on three levels: 1) on an EU27 MS plus UK level, quantitative secondary data will be analysed and models will be developed; 2) Within 15 target countries, documentary sources on the national level and in at least one local community per country will be analysed; 3) in 10 target communities, primary empirical research will be conducted, utilising both classical and innovative quantitative and qualitative methods (e.g. visual ethnography, participatory ethnography, and automated analysis of short video testimonials). Promising practices will be evaluated in target communities through case studies spanning diverse disciplines (social epidemiology, the economics of unpaid labour, the sociology of migration, etc.) and vulnerable populations (COVID-19 patients, precarious families, migrating health care workers, etc.). The project will culminate in the development of an online portal and visual toolkit for stakeholders in government, public health, and civil society integrating data streams, indices and indicators, maps, models, primary research and case study findings, empirically grounded policy guidance, and creative assessment tools.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 532 500,00
Otto-Bauer-Gasse 5/14
1060 Wien

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Ostösterreich Wien Wien
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 532 500,00

Participants (16)