Conducting after-action reviews of the public health response to COVID-19

ECDC Director Andrea Ammon stated:

“Conducting after-action reviews is one of the best ways to identify lessons learned from the pandemic and link them to concrete plans of action for improvement. ECDC strongly recommends following the state-of-the-art methodology as countries revise their pandemic preparedness plans.”

ECDC published its first guidance on conducting reviews of the public health response to COVID-19 already in June 2020, followed by additional protocols made available in 2021. This latest update concludes the series and covers all phases of designing and conducting after-action reviews, including dissemination strategies.

Given the unprecedented size, scope and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be beneficial to prioritise response areas and conduct after-action reviews focused on specific topics. The ECDC guidance suggests 13 response areas that are particularly relevant for review of the public health response to COVID-19 and provides a range of tools that support implementation of after-action reviews.

This guidance is targeted at public health authorities in the EU/EEA as well as EU candidate and potential candidate countries, and European Neighborhood Policy countries. It can be applied to support AARs at national and sub-national levels.

In addition to the methodology, templates and protocols made available in the updated guidance, ECDC will support implementation of after-action reviews in countries upon their request.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo