Manchester Business School secures huge fund for Covid resilience study

Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) has secured around £1m to fund its research into the long-term recovery of local communities from the coronavirus pandemic.

The project has been part-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and specialists from AMBS and the University of Manchester will work together to create a framework to build resilience in local communities post-pandemic.

The school said this morning that a team of academics will analyse how stakeholders such as local government, the emergency services and volunteer groups have responded to the pandemic in the UK and overseas, before identifying changes required to support short-term recovery and drive long-term renewal within local communities moving forward.

Academics will partner with Local Resilience Forums – groups of representatives from local authorities and the wider public sector – in Merseyside, the Thames Valley and Essex to develop and test a resilience framework.

Duncan Shaw, professor of operational research and critical systems at AMBS and HCRI, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to communities across the world and as we enter the second wave many are rightly focused on how we come out of the other side, and how organisations can work together to drive long-term recovery in what is a very complex political landscape.

“With the support and funding from ESRC, we are now in a position to take our research one step further and will be working closely with regional stakeholders to share lessons of successful recovery, and use these learnings to develop an actionable framework that can be used to drive resilience at a local level in a world post-coronavirus.”

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AMBS said the framework will be designed to allow local communities to better plan, prepare and respond to similar emergencies.

That could include sharing emergency services to better manage demand or making use of volunteers during the disaster response phase.

The funding announcement follows a 10-month project in which academics worked with organisations worldwide to ensure local communities can recover from Covid-19.

That included specialists in the areas of critical systems, emergency response, community resilience, humanitarian aid and mobilisation, digital solutions and security, viable systems, healthcare delivery and operations management.

Business Live – North West