The HEART Consortium: how we can help you with responses to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has launched many countries and their governments into unchartered territory. Governments are grappling with a myriad of challenges, including immediate strategies for prevention and treatment, continued delivery of public services alongside the COVID-19 response, mitigating the social and economic effects, and ways to adapt systems for future preparedness and resilience.

The HEART partners recognise that responses to COVID-19 will affect all parts of a health system, which are often already overburdened. We are committed to supporting governments and their civil society partners in specific areas or to develop comprehensive whole system solutions. While at its core a public health issue, COVID-19 and measures to curb its spread will have also multi-sectoral effects. The breadth of expertise of the HEART partners mean that we can work with you at each stage or element of the response. In the coming days, we will publish on our website guidance from each organisation on different aspects of the system.  

Ready-made tools and resources for immediate use will also be regularly updated on this site.

For more information or to discuss further, please email [email protected].

Listed below are the key areas where we can offer support, by sector. This is a partial list so please contact us for any areas where support is needed. If you have an emerging idea, we are happy to discuss it with you and together develop more concrete plans.


  • Epidemiological modelling to predict temporospatial disease spread within countries and the predicted effects of behaviour change mitigation strategies
  • Clinical protocols for primary health centres and community health workers
  • Supply chain, equipment and pharmaceutical procurement
  • Providing technical support to Ministries of Health and COVID Task Forces on case detection, follow up screening processes, monitoring of cases and response capacity through data management and data infrastructure and DHIS2 technology
  • Using our country and partner networks to identify and synthesise information needs
  • Assessing current preparedness and response capacity, key gaps and support needs
  • Documenting and synthesising approaches adopted in different countries to identify best practices
  • Conducting, updating, synthesising and communicating situation analyses
  • Tracking social and community impacts, community perceptions and responses, including identifying community-organised response strategies
  • Economic and financial assessments to identify the costs of response, financial arrangements, budget flexibility and resource gaps
  • Developing communication materials (e.g. digital messages and small videos) on COVID-19 prevention to be distributed on social media
  • Delivering training for health workers on prevention
  • Supporting development of guidelines, including for behaviour change and adapted approaches to service delivery
  • Developing, piloting and learning from alternative approaches to service delivery/health care within existing projects
  • Rapid reviews, research and analysis on other aspects of response and resilience, using existing data and through rapid collection of primary data
  • Monitoring and evaluation response strategies and interventions


  • how to keep learning going through distance education / e-learning
  • how to make this learning equitable for all learners
  • assessing the international evidence for distance learning models during pandemic and crises (e.g. radio lessons in Sierra Leone during Ebola)
  • how to award fair grades and end-of-school qualifications where curriculum coverage or national exams are affected
  • how to keep children safe during school closures, especially girls, and learners from vulnerable and conflict-affected contexts
  • how to adapt and protect current sector plans and budgets
  • how to manage the transition period between crisis and return to normal; will distance learning be consigned to the rubbish bin, or how will ministries take it on through a blended learning approach


  • Support to multi-sectoral governance and coordination systems led by the SUN during the pandemic
  • Mobilise country actors to disseminate consistent, accurate nutrition / COVID-19 messages
  • Contribute to the design of multi-sectoral emergency actions as part of the response to COVID-19 including:
  • Ensuring nutrition is included within risk / needs assessments, adaptation of social protection / food assistance services
  • Support food system responses to provide affordable nutritious food and incomes for the most vulnerable
  • Mapping of COVID19 risk factors and other covariates to support allocation of resources and decision making
  • Digital/social media-based behaviour change interventions
  • Advocacy for maintaining funding streams for nutrition-related programming (non-diversion of funds)
  • Leverage emerging evidence, international guidelines and protocols with respect to links between nutrition and COVID-19 to backstop or support adaptation of nutrition actions to the evolving context
  • Generate rapid, robust data and evidence to inform decision-making


  • How to include WASH as a component of their response to COVID-19
  • conduct rapid situational assessments to inform WASH-related responses
  • Support in country need trainings or instructive materials to help them to deliver an effective WASH-related response
  • Support on ‘normal’ DFID workload whilst they are re-diverted to COVID (e.g. annual reviews, business case development etc)