Policy advice and external monitoring from Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Response

Collectively at Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Response we have more than fifty years of experience in the field of disaster medicine and global health. Consequently we are well-placed to conduct external monitoring and offer expert advice on the subject. We are one of the National Board for Health and Welfare's research centre (kunskapscentrum) and as such publish external monitoring reports three times a year, as well as a yearly research overview and global analysis.

Expert advice and policy guidance

At Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Response we want to actively contribute to the continued development of disaster medicine and public health in disasters. By way of our research, education and our team's experience of working in disasters, we want to contribute to developing and improving Swedish and international policy, and decision-making in the field. In practice this is done through evaluations, expert mission reports, expert advice in policy-making and much more. Members of our group also frequently feature in the media, to answer questions related to disasters. We collaborate with Swedish as well as international entities, in both the public, private and aid sector.

Our partners at the Centre for Health Crises at Karolinska Institutet work more broadly with policy, research collaborations and education in subject matters relevant to health crises.  

Our work with the Swedish National Board for Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)

Since 2002, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) has funded a network of emergency medicine research centres at Swedish universities. The Department of Global Public Health at Karolinska Institutet is one node of this network and Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Response is one such research centre (kunskapscentrum) for matters related to global disaster medicine and international missions.

As a research centre we act in an advisory role in relation to the National Board of Health and Welfare. Our obligation is to, through  the work we do, develop and maintain a high level of knowledge and competency in disaster medicine and international missions. We are also obliged to work nationally, coordinating in such a way that knowledge and expertise in the field is advanced and made available. 

As part of our work we publish external monitoring reports three times a year, as well as a yearly research overview and global analysis. The latest reports and analysis are available to read (in Swedish) below. If you are interested in reading older reports, please email kckatastrofmedicin.gph@ki.se and we will be happy to send them to you. You can also sign up to receive the reports and analysis straight to your inbox. 

The National Board of Health and Welfare also partly funds some of our research through competitive grants.  

Monitoring reports, research overviews and global analysis (in Swedish)

IPA Care and other examples advice and policy guidance work

Members of the team at Global Disaster Medicine - Health Needs and Response have worked, and continues to do so, in advisory and expert roles with the WHO, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), and on committees appointed by the Swedish government.

At present, we are part of a consortium led by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, called IPA Care, that aims to address the needs of countries on Western Balkan, along with Turkey, to strengthen their ability to prevent risks related to earthquakes and other health emergencies. We are working alongside the Italian and Swedish Civil Contingencies/Protection agencies, the Croatian and Romanian ministries of the interior and two Italians research foundations that specialises in environmental monitoring and seismological prevention, together with the civil protection authorities and health ministers in the seven partner countries.

Visit the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency’s website to find out more about the project.

Examples of such roles include the research group leader Johan von Schreeb, who in 2020 was asked by the WHO to coordinate international assistance to Beirut, following the explosion in the city's harbour district. His role was then further expanded to also include assistance in coordinating aspects of Lebanon's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Another example of when our expertise proved useful for assisting policy evaluation is that Anneli Eriksson, research specialist at the centre, worked as an evaluation secretary in the Swedish Coronakommissionen, a commission appointed by the Swedish government in June 2020, to evaluate the efforts the country made in limiting the spread of COVID-19. In this role, Anneli Eriksson was able to draw on her experience of field work in global disaster areas, as well as her PhD work on estimating needs in disasters.   

Several members of our team also feature regularly in the media and public debate regarding disaster medicine, global health and disaster awareness in both Sweden and abroad. 

Johan von Schreeb

Professor in Global Disaster Medicine

For more information regarding our role in policy advise, please contact the head of the centre Professor Johan von Schreeb

Content reviewer:
Åsa Svensson