global, multilateral and EU-related measures to tackle COVID-19 and its consequences



13 MAY

Contribution of migrant doctors and nurses to tackling COVID-19 crisis in OECD countries


While the number of medical and nursing graduates has increased significantly in the majority of the OECD countries over the past two decades, the shares of foreign-trained or foreign-born doctors and nurses have also continued to rise. As a result, across the OECD countries, nearly one-quarter of all doctors are born abroad and close to one-fifth are trained abroad. Among nurses, nearly 16% are foreign-born and more than 7% are foreign-trained.

Policy responses to the global health workforce shortage:


  • Implement to its full scope the “WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel”

  • Reinforce international co-operation to address the global shortage of health workers.

  • Increase training capacity in receiving countries and improve retention into the health workforce to reduce domestic shortages and misdistribution by geographic area or specialties, to avoid becoming dependent on international recruitments.

  • Ensure that migrant health workers have equal working conditions with other health workers and acknowledge their contribution to the functioning of national health systems, including in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Address the risk of “brain waste” by streamlining procedures for the recognition of foreign qualifications and reinforcing the offer for bridging courses where appropriate.

  • Recognise the opportunities associated with the internationalisation of medical education but align the number of internship and specialty training places to allow international students to complete their training.

  • Reinforce international co-operation, notably Overseas Development Assistance and technical assistance, to help less advanced countries build up a sufficient health workforce and to strengthen their health systems, thereby mitigating factors that are pushing health professionals to leave.


Testing for COVID-19: A way to lift confinement restrictions


There are three ways that testing can be used to manage COVID-19:

  1. First, strong and effective testing, tracking and tracing is needed. If implemented properly, TTT is the most promising approach in the short-run to bringing – and keeping – the epidemic under control without resorting to widespread lockdowns of social and economic life. This sort of approach also provides key intelligence on the spread of the epidemic.

  2. Second, serologic tests among targeted priority population groups (e.g. health and other essential function workers) are needed to assess their immunity, so could be used to let them work without the need for repeated isolation. Potentially, this approach could also be extended to cover more of the population, assisting in restarting economic activity.

  3. Third, once rapid serologic tests are reliable enough for utilisation at large scale, widespread testing will allow the estimation of how far away we are from herd immunity in the population. This is crucial information to inform how to adjust social distancing measures.


Despite the fact that a relatively low number of people have so far been infected and thus we are still far from herd immunity, the successful implementation of serologic testing strategies at large scale can help reduce the spread of the virus and complement the TTT strategy. This will also require major efforts, including: 1) verifying the clinical performance of tests, particularly for rapid serologic tests; 2) preparing procurement and logistics arrangements to scale up production and deployment of the tests, and train and deploy human resources, particularly for diagnostic RT-PCR tests; and 3) providing adequate safeguards to protect civil right and privacy of populations while deploying or apps-enabled tracking strategies.

16 april

14 april

Evaluating the initial impact of covid-19 containment measures on economic activity 





COVID-19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC Joint Statement by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 

26 march

20 march

Global Arena Research Institute launches the "Beyond" Initiative 

The global COVID-19 emergency emphasizes local and nation-based responses and national

collectivism in general. In the short term, it is understandable. The multilateral institutions (including the EU) were not devised with such a scenario in mind.

However, in the long run, going national and going local is not the way forward. Nation-states cannot win the fight against COVID-19 (or similar threats in the future) by themselves. Moreover, there is a mounting risk that such a nationalist bias will endure and last beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

GARI believes, instead, that it is imperative to look "beyond" the local and national horizons

As of today, GARI launches the initiative "Beyond" to stress this point. We are starting by tracking and highlighting global, multilateral and EU-related measures to tackle COVID-19 and its consequences. We believe that the COVID-19 coverage in the (social) media favours reporting on national measures and national policies and politics, thus further prompts nationalism as such. 

Our subsequent goal is to follow on implementation and impact of these measures in a coherent and continuous manner.

Any suggestions, inputs or comments welcome (via FB messenger, LinkedIn or email  

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The world must establish a genuine dialogue between the most advanced technologies and artificial reasoning capabilities on the one hand, and the normative and critical capabilities of the social sciences on the other. We have reached the point where their mutual inspiration and cross-fertilization is a must.



© 2020 by GARI