Principles of COVID-19 Review

What is COVID-19 Review?

‘COVID-19 review’ is a term to describe the mechanisms by which government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are subjected to evaluative review in the United Kingdom.

Evaluative review is review that considers the evidence of the impacts of responses to the pandemic, assesses them against the objectives of these responses and against meta-objectives (like human rights protection, or accountability to Parliament), and where appropriate seeks to achieve changes to the responses in order to enhance them.

What does COVID-19 Review Measure?

Evaluative reviews of responses to the pandemic may consider a range of issues. These include:

  • What are the epidemiological outcomes of the response? (i.e. what effect has the response had on the rates and modes of transmission of the disease?)
  • What are the health systems outcomes of the response? (i.e. what effect has the response had on the capacity of the health system to respond to the disease?
  • What are the economic outcomes of the response? (i.e. what effect has the response had on economic wellbeing on a national, societal, or individual level?)
  • What are the politico-legal outcomes of the response? (i.e. what effect has the response had on political and legal landscape including the involvement of Parliament, accountability to Parliament, content and scope of the criminal law, transparency and accessibility of the law, and the enjoyment on human rights?)

The answers to all of these questions have significance for human rights. Thus, from a human rights perspective, how these questions are framed and considered, what evidence is considered, who may participate in the review, and what (if any) change the review catalyses are all matters of rights-related concern.

What Principles Does the COVID-19 Review Observatory use to Assess Review?

In the CVRO we will assess COVID-19 review against five core principles:

  • Independence (is the review independent of government?)
  • Rights Framing (does the review consider human rights in the questions it asks?)
  • Evidence (does the review gather appropriate evidence?)
  • Participation (does the review allow for public participation?)
  • Influence (does the review exert influence on responses to the pandemic?)