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Political Economy of Health in Conflict

The diverse streams of information available during health security events are rapidly becoming more numerous and complex, encompassing traditional domains such as clinical and medical intelligence, as well as newer sources of information such as open source and social media intelligence (OSINT and SOCMINT). However, there exist only limited established mechanisms for integrating these sources and generating effective intelligence products. Furthermore, the domain of 'health intelligence' merits expansion to consider direct medical, behavioural, and epidemiological data, alongside geopolitical, economic, and logistical conditions.

Our research tackles this gap, aiming to first define this space at a conceptual level, as well as focusing on how health intelligence can be integrated into public health structures and processes dealing with public health crises, natural, and deliberate threats at national and international levels. We further examine the integration of traditional intelligence techniques into government and NGO responses, with particular focus on the unique ecosystem of conflict. We also examine the impact of misinformation and disinformation on public health, studying the impact of disinformation and health communication during public health crises.

The research team are running several projects on this theme concurrently, including mapping a field of practice for health intelligence as an academic and technical sphere, developing evaluative matrices for the analysis of public health and governance systems, and modelling impacts of disinformation on government decision-making and population health behaviours during health emergencies. The team harnesses expertise in medicine, public health and intelligence to generate work at the leading edge of health intelligence study and practice.

Project status: Ongoing