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Creating a Suitable Framework for Forecasting COVID-19: AUC's Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Research and Innovation Initiative

Yakin Ouederni
June 2, 2020

AUC’s Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Research and Innovation Initiative awarded funding to 10 different research projects that are aimed at creating an impact both during and after the global COVID-19 pandemic — contributing to the scholarship and innovation in the fight against it. In this series, we are highlighting each of the 10 projects to learn about what they are and what impact they will have on society.


Project 3: Evaluating the current global pandemic projection and epidemiological models for COVID-19 incidence

Principal Investigator: Nesreen Nasser, assistant professor, Department of Public Policy and Administration


How It Began

Nesreen Nasser, assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration, was inspired to evaluate existing epidemiological models developed to forecast the number of infected cases and deaths due to COVID-19 given the global scale and impact of the pandemic.

“While some models seem logical and yielded valid information, others remain paltry without taking into consideration the dynamicity and viral behavior of the disease,” Nasser stated. 


What It's All About

The project is aimed at proposing forecasting strategies to policymakers. It will consist of phases during which Nasser and her team will identify different epidemiological models used to forecast the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, critically appraise the models and determine their methodological strengths and weaknesses.

“Finally…[we will] identify what parameters may be important to create a framework and, or strategy for the best practice in forecasting epidemiological models for infectious diseases that can fit low- and-middle-income countries such as Egypt,” Nasser said. 

The project products will include reports and papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, policy briefs and infographs developed from the investigation will be shared with policymakers.


The Research Process

All research for this project will take place remotely. The team aims to examine all materials published from December 2019 to date from their spatially isolated locations. In addition to weekly discussions about the work in progress, team members will write reports on their findings. The project is expected to be finished within six months.


What's the Impact?

The results of this project will be able to provide better evidence-based policy to assist stakeholders and decision makers in addressing uncertainty and promoting interventions and policies to control the pandemic and save lives.


Final Thoughts

“I wish for people’s health and safety and ask them to look after themselves and be responsible citizens,” Nasser stated.