The SoNAR-Global social sciences network for preparedness and response to epidemics (funded by the European Commission) is leading multiple activities for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February 2020, SoNAR-Global launched a social sciences resources page, with relevant readings, vocal reflections from social scientists and observers throughout the world, and most recently, an “Epicast” on the social dimensions of the COVID-19 epidemic. Response to the resources page and Epicast has been enthusiastic; SoNAR-Global’s site received a monthly record of 1.8K users in February.

With increasing demands for social sciences response, SoNAR-Global is transforming its website to promote coordination, tool sharing, and data and output sharing for COVID-19 response. We are currently initiating a mapping of social sciences projects (tagged by thematic focus, location, methodology).

SoNAR-Global is also directly engaged in operational research and response. Specifically, several partners have developed and are using a methodological toolkit that embeds anthropologists in response organizations and institutions; implements rapid operational ethnography and conducts media/public perception monitoring. This shared approach permits exchanges around emerging challenges and comparisons across sites. We are working closely with the Canadian Global-1HN network to share approaches, data and analyses.

The ‘Centre Régional de Recherche et de Formation à la prise en charge clinique du VIH et des pathologies infectieuses’ (CRCF, in Senegal) mobilized its West African network to conduct media monitoring and rapid ethnography. This group will post its first results in West Africa to Ministries of Health, on the SoNAR-Global site, and in The Conversation. We have also exchanged with the Africa CDC to share methodologies and to offer analytical capacity.

Our partner Mahidol University (Thailand) has mobilized our network to implement rapid ethnographic work in Thailand, Malaysia, and Italy to trace public responses to confinement, compliance, and stigma.

SoNAR-Global partner Institut Pasteur is working closely with the Fondation de la Croix Rouge française (CRf) to implement mixed media/public perception monitoring and (remote) rapid ethnographic assessment.

SoNAR-Global is also actively collating training resources for social scientists on COVID-19.

Finally, SoNAR-Global exchanges frequently with other networks and institutions, in additional to Global-1HN.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under Grant Agreement No. 825671.

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