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COVID-19: The Sydney Policy Lab Papers

Australian policymakers have faced momentous decisions in the last few months and will continue to do so in the months ahead.

To help them navigate the challenges with which they are confronted, the Sydney Policy Lab asked experts in migration, democracy, public health, infectious diseases, epidemiology, mathematics, bioethics, economics and political philosophy: what do policymakers need to do to deal with the enormously complex questions revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our COVID-19 Sydney Policy Papers are the result of these discussions.

They provide expert guidance to decisionmakers and the broader public about the key principles, perspectives and themes to keep front of mind as they grapple with pressing, deeply complicated and high stakes policy challenges on a daily basis.

You can read the Papers below and we warmly encourage you to share your feedback.

Read the paper here.

What are the five principles that must guide policymakers in the face of the unprecedented public policy challenges COVID-19 poses?

Authors: University of Sydney experts Associate Professor Anna Boucher, Dr Gareth Bryant, Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright, Professor Rae Cooper, Associate Professor Anika Gauja, Associate Professor Kurt Iveson, Professor Marc Stears, Dr Amanda Tattersall and Professor Tim Soutphommasane.

Read the paper here.

What is the crucial role of citizen action in tackling the COVID-19 public health crisis and what are the supports that need to be in place for community mobilisation to succeed?

Authors: University of Sydney experts Professor Lyn Gilbert, Professor Yun-Hee Jeon, Professor Marc Stears and Professor Glenda Wardle, supported by Professor Anthony Costello, formerly of the World Health Organisation and now at University College London.

Read the paper here.

In a world of border closures, what is the future of migration?

Authors: University of Sydney experts Dr Madhan Balasubramanian, Associate Professor Anna Boucher, Professor Stephanie Short, Professor Marc Stears and Professor Tim Soutphommasane, supported by Professor Desmond King at the University of Oxford.  

Read the paper here.

How do we transition out of lockdown and continue to ease restrictions while COVID-19 is still with us?

Authors: University of Sydney experts Dr Andrew Black, Dr Gareth Bryant, Professor Angus Dawson, Professor Lyn Gilbert, Professor Marc Stears and Professor Ben Marais, supported by Professor Emma McBryde at James Cook University.

Read the paper here.

As sweeping top-down action is taken by leaders around the world, what are the indicators that democracies are healthy and the warning signs that they are weakened?

Authors: University of Sydney experts Dr Frances Flanagan, Dr Amanda Tattersall and Professor Marc Stears, supported by Professor Melvin Rogers at Brown University.

Our second series of papers, Sydney Policy Papers In Depth, provide more sustained and specialised analysis and policy recommendations in individual policy domains, answering the question: what must we attend to now, to ensure that society we live in, in the coming years that the virus and its ramifications remain with us, is one where everyone can flourish?

Read the paper here.

How does the false separation between oral health and wellbeing endanger effective pandemic response, and what does the pandemic reveal about the potential for dentistry to contribute to healthcare system resilience?

Authors: University of Sydney experts Dr Alexander C. L. Holden, Professor Ramon Z. Shaban and Professor Heiko Spallek.

Read the paper here.

Despite all the talk of being “in it together,” the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have had dramatically varied effects on different communities across Australia and the world. How has everyday life changed for autistic people and their families?

Authors: Professor Liz Pellicano, Dr Simon Brett, Dr Jac den Houting, Dr Melanie Heyworth, Dr Iliana Magiati, Robyn Steward, Dr Anna Urbanowicz and Professor Marc Stears. 

We look forward to publishing more policy papers in the coming weeks and welcome your continued engagement with our project.