British Academy call for evidence on long-term societal effects of COVID-19

Producing a report on the long-term societal effects and impacts of COVID-19.

Dates and contact details

This open call closed on Monday 23 November 2020.

For any queries about the call, or the project, please email [email protected].

About the call

The British Academy has been asked by the Government Office for Science to produce a report on the long-term societal effects and impacts of COVID-19. The initial question we have considered is: What are the long-term societal effects of COVID-19? We are considering what are the challenges and opportunities in different policy areas which COVID-19 has unearthed, and over what timescales do we need to be thinking about addressing them.

The Academy completed an initial scoping phase in September 2020, using insights from the Academy’s Fellowship, our early career researcher community, and external stakeholders, as well as a rapid review of the literature and existing research that is published or underway. This allowed us to prioritise a set of policy areas and cross-cutting themes for deeper exploration.

In this next phase of work, we are seeking engagement with a wider range of individuals and organisations with expertise on the initial policy areas of focus, which are summarised below.

  • Health and wellbeing: physical and mental health (including young people and at work), wellbeing, and the environment we live in.
  • Communities, culture and belonging: includes communities and civil society, cities and towns, family and kinship, and arts, media, culture, heritage and sport.
  • Knowledge, skills and employment: includes education (compulsory and post-16), skills, knowledge and research, and work and employment.

In each of these policy areas, we wish to approach them with these five cross-cutting themes in mind:

  • Governance – How COVID-19 has affected relationships between national and local actors, accountability for decisions, and freedom of the individual.
  • Trust – How COVID-19 has affected society’s relationship with information, data, the media and the role of experts.
  • Cohesion – The effect of COVID-19 on relationships within and between communities of people and ideas.
  • Inequalities – The role of COVID-19 in highlighting, ameliorating, causing or exacerbating inequalities.
  • Sustainability – How COVID-19 has affected the way we think about, and the importance we attribute to, issues of sustainability.

Responses to the call for evidence should consider the main policy challenges within these policy areas but should also consider the effects as related to one or more of the cross-cutting themes. For example, your evidence could look at how COVID-19 has changed inequalities in mental health provision, how COVID-19 has had an impact on trust and cohesion in a particular local area, or how COVID-19 has raised questions about sustainability and our relationship with nature.

Respondents should aim to draw on evidence from either existing research or from their professional experience in the areas under investigation. This might include, for example, survey data, interviews and focus groups, reflections from practitioners, case studies, historical examples, or insights from experiential or quasi-experimental studies. Please provide references and links to relevant sources wherever possible.

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