Dancing with a virus: towards an adaptive management

ESHPM has been commissioned by ZonMw to research decision-making about corona for the coming 2 years. Roland Bal explains the study. “It specifically targets how the regional consultation structure in acute care (ROAZ) and the safety regions contributed to the policy responses to the corona pandemic. We are also examining how this structure could be designed in the future.”  

“In our research we are primarily examining the conditions for an adaptive and reflective management. In other words, how can the structure of decision-making be designed to cope with uncertain situations as effectively as possible. We involve the different perspectives, interests and actors in the research. We make use of a dance metaphor to illustrate this.  

For this research we are collaborating with Erasmus MC, the Rijnmond safety region and Zorgbelang Inclusief. Regional and national partners are also involved. The questions to be answered by this research are: 

1. Looking back in hindsight, what can we learn from the administrative reaction to the corona crisis about the guidance of care in times of a pandemic crisis? 

2. How can the dance of local, regional and national administrative arrangements in the ‘chronic’ phase of the crisis be designed effectively and which parties can positively influence this? 

3. What effects does this dance and the decisions deriving from it have on the organisation and conduct of care? 

Using ethnographic methods and action research, we shall answer these questions. By feeding back interim results regularly to the parties involved, the research will contribute to the further development of the decision-making structure. In the context of the research, we are also organising regular public webinars.” 

The following researchers are involved alongside Roland Bal: Sabrina Huizenga, Bert de Graaff, Hester van de Bovenkamp, Iris Wallenburg, Joke Boonstra, Eric Verkaar and Saskia Baas.