Inequity and wellbeing

The measures taken to control the Covid-19 pandemic had far-reaching social and economic consequences for certain sections of the population in particular. This project aims to gain a better understanding of these consequences.

  • Project description

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    The measures taken in Switzerland to control the Covid-19 pandemic consisted primarily of a mixture of cantonal and federal measures aimed at reducing the number of infections and alleviating the pressure on hospitals. Lockdowns reduced contact between individuals and also had social, economic and health repercussions, particularly for certain sections of the population. Although social measures attenuated certain expected inequities, vulnerabilities developed and other inequities emerged. This project brings together several disciplines to better understand the effects that the measures had on people’s wellbeing. The goal is to provide decision-makers and practitioners with tools that will improve their understanding of future crises.

  • Background

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    The rapid spread of an unknown, deadly virus forced government authorities to introduce strict measures that disrupted the way society works. These measures affected all areas of everyday life at home, school and work, and were adapted, dropped or reinstated at different levels. While they may have slowed the spread of the disease, they also indirectly impacted the wellbeing of Switzerland’s population.

  • Aim

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    This project aims to describe and understand the effects of the measures taken to contain the pandemic on different aspects of people’s wellbeing. It will focus in particular on how these effects are distributed among the population and seek to identify the sections that are especially affected. It also aims to understand the trade-offs involved for the different stakeholders (public, healthcare workers, political decision-makers) with a view to improving future crisis preparedness.

  • Relevance

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    The results will make it possible to understand the indirect effects of political responses to crises on the health-related, economic and social wellbeing of the population. They will highlight the mechanisms at work during a crisis, make it possible to identify at-risk groups in the population and provide a basis for developing future public policies that take better account of inequities in terms of economic resources, social capital and vulnerability.

  • Application

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    We intend to develop a “toolkit” for decision-makers so that they can take greater account of social disparities and the plethora of detrimental effects of crises that impact both health and society. This kit will include tools for epidemiological monitoring, projection and social policy simulation as well as tools for use on the ground to help detect vulnerability more effectively.

  • Original title

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    Covid-19 policies and inequities in adult wellbeing: Building back fairer from the pandemic in Switzerland