With a team comprising of economists, education and public health experts that specialize in development, and have been working for close to two decades on development issues including infectious diseases such as Ebola, tuberculosis and HIV, the Center for Sustainable Development is in a unique position to provide technical expertise to countries or states prioritizing COVID-19 responses, and exploring sound scientific solutions that provide an appropriate balance between public health measures protecting communities and steps ensuring a revitalized economy.
The Center also benefits from close partnerships with public health officials in Taiwan and South Korea, two countries whose responses to COVID-19 have been hailed among the most effective in containing the threat of the infectious disease. These two countries have developed systems and strategies to address the COVID-19 outbreak nationally, and experts from both countries, in partnership with researchers at CSD, want to disseminate their public health innovations worldwide in an effort to assist countries reopening their economies safely.
Similarly, education systems must also adopt flexible strategies for returning to schools safely. Since COVID-19 is a health issue as much as an environmental, economic, education,, and social justice issue, an inter-sector strategy is needed to counteract its challenges. The treatment of education should be seen as an entry-point for sector strategies to make the entire system work. For instance, health experts need to advise on school-reopening strategies while clearly communicating public health concerns and potential solutions. Educationalists can advise on how best to remediate the learning loss that has happened due to the pandemic and how to support learners and educators as well as their families. Economists need to share unbiased and apolitical projections for the future for public awareness. The evidence-based strategies and recommendations from the multiple sectors of the Center for Sustainable Development will shape the contents used for informing the public on these complex and real challenges faced at a global scale.