The College of Public Policy (CPP) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University was recently awarded one of five research grants offered by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) for their project titled, ‘COVID-19 Policy Tracker: MENA Government Responses to the Crisis’.
QNRF’s first ‘Rapid Response Call’ was designed to provide funding to projects that address the challenges imposed by emergent situations such as COVID-19.
CPP’s project aims to provide a policy tracker of government responses (PTGR) to the COVID-19 crisis for 10 countries in the MENA region, including Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and the GCC states.
Dr. Andreas Rechkemmer, a professor at CPP, noted: “Public health policies and transmission control measures are front and center of a country’s pandemic response. By studying and comparing the public health response of 10 selected countries in the MENA region, including all six GCC member states, and tracking progress in real time, the COVID-19 PTGR project provides invaluable knowledge about effective and efficient measures in the face of the worst pandemic in a century.”
Dr. Ozcan Ozturk, assistant professor of economics at CPP, noted that the most distinctive feature of this project is that it will be the first and the most comprehensive policy tracker specific to the MENA region. “It is imperative for policymakers to know which economic responses to COVID-19 were effective and which ones were not. Our policy tracker of government responses (PTGR) will be a reliable and comprehensive data source for such information needed in the decision-making process,” he said.
“The policy tracker is a pioneering tool to track and compare policy responses of governments tackling coronavirus across the region. It will collect publicly available information on various indicators of government response. It is a useful tool for policymakers, public health professionals, academics and citizens to understand policy response across the region and help governments to adopt an evidence- based approach and establish which measures are effective and which are not,” added Dr. Anis Ben Brik, associate professor, CPP.
As countries and cities re-open around the world, amid the hopeful signs we also hear of setbacks, spikes, and re-closings. While there is still much we do not know about COVID-19, the last six months have taught us at least five basic lessons, and one big truth.
A highly informative and wide-ranging discussion on ‘COVID-19: Faith, Public Policy and Gender Nexus’ took place via a webinar hosted by Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).