European flag
European union’s
horizon 2020
2 Year Message from Coordinator - Paolo Giudici
2 months ago

2 Year Message from Coordinator - Paolo Giudici

The PERISCOPE project has entered its third and final year. The first two years have been very successful: to date, 21 Deliverables have been completed and submitted on time, and as many as 55 papers, open access, and with an explicit acknowledgement of the project support, have been published in important peer reviewed scientific journals. To give an overview of the research activity of the project, we summarise below the main findings.


1. MEASURING IMPACTS (Economics and Social Sciences) -18 papers

From the economic viewpoint, the project has assessed the impacts of social distancing across the EU (Dreger and Gros, 2020; Gros et al., 2022); the impact of lockdowns on employment (Dreger and Gros, 2021); and it has suggested containment strategies for pandemic costs (Gros et al., 2021). PERISCOPE research has highlighted the mental health impacts of the pandemic at various stages (Chen et al., 2021; Guerrero et al., 2021), and the health inequalities for groups who are socioeconomically disadvantaged (Asper et al., 2022; Spiritus-Beerden et al., 2021; Winkler et al., 2021). From the perspective of health systems, the project  has suggested vaccination and NPI plans (Giordano et al., 2021; Iftekhar et al., 2021); compared  the diagnostic accuracy of lateral-flow tests (Leber et al., 2021); assessed  the impact of health protective behaviour (Lapoire et al., 2023); evaluated the risks connected with new Covid-19 variants (Krueger et al., 2022). From the behavioural viewpoint, the project has assessed the impact of alternative vaccine distributions (Steinert et al., 2022a) and of its effectiveness (Colaneri et al., 2022).  Trust has been found a key factor in vaccine acceptance, highlighting the need for tailored messaging in response to heterogenous reasons for vaccine hesitancy (Martinelli and Veltri, 2022; Steinert et al., 2022b).


2. LEARNING FROM DATA (Statistics and Data Science) -18 papers

The main PERISCOPE tool for integration and interactive visualisation of socio-economic and behavioural impacts and policy measures is the Data Atlas (Pala et al., 2022),which can also integrate further data, such as environmental pollution (Pala & Casella et al., 2022) and open data (Scotti et al., 2022).  For policy measures, (Cheng et al., 2022; Warne et al., 2020) use a semantic learning approach to build a large database of the time and space evolution of policy measures, at the worldwide level. On the basis of this data, the project has developed on  pandemic counts, within the context of the ECDC Forecast hub (Giudici et al., 2022; Bartolucci et al., 2021). The project has also proposed models which can estimate behavioural responses, to provide guidance on social distancing (Barrat et al., 2021; Cencetti et al., 2021;Woskie et al., 2021) and on travel restrictions (Le et al., 2022). Statistical models have also been proposed to assess the economic consequences of of mobility restrictions (Spelta and Pagnottoni, 2022), as well as the effects of the pandemic on financial technologies (Agosto et al., 2022) and on financial markets ( Ahelegbey et al., 2022; Pagnottoni et al., 2021; Pagnottoni et al., 2022).


3. PROPOSING POLICY RESPONSES (Policy Studies) - 6 papers

PERISCOPE policy studies highlight the potential benefits of greater EU coordination and solidarity, including the sharing of best practice, information management and ensuring global vaccine access (Valdez et al, 2022; Priesemann et al., 2021), and the need to preserve privacy (Renda, 2022). For longer-term pandemic recovery, there is a need for greater coordination between various agencies, which would be supported by effective decentralised governance. Czypionka et al (2022) highlight the need for coordinated low-incidence strategies based on communication and trust, rather than on repressive NPIs at high incidence levels. Periscope research findings show that, during the Covid-19 pandemic, pandemic governance can either enable or disable social relations, shaping behaviours and inequalities. Public pandemic policy can therefore serve as a barrier or enabler of health provision, care networks, racial inequality, state legitimacy and trust (Barceló et al., 2022; Parker et al., 2022)


4. DEPLOYING TECHNOLOGIES (computer engineering) (13 papers)

Some PERISCOPE studies looked at the use of Twitter data for understanding covid (mis)information sharing (Brambilla et al., 2022; Di Giovanni et al., 2022; Yang et al., 2021). Another study reviewed the accuracy of mobile phone-based algorithms for gaining insights into individual-level activities (Pappalardo et al., 2021). To improve information quality and policy awareness, two related studies (Tocchetti et al., 2021, 2022). designed a methodology for a gamified citizen participation that can support policy-making process.Periscope researchers have also assessed the role of artificial intelligence methods for pandemic recovery.This includes a deep learning model to predict covid effects on lung disease (Allahabadi et al., 2022), an anomaly detection algorithm to predict emerging covid variants (Nicora et al, 2022). Three papers show how AI in health can be improved through ‘explainability’ for users (Combia et al., 2022; Parimbelli et al., 2023; Amann et al., 2022); a paper shows how to improve the involvement of communities by means of artificial intelligence (Hsu et al., 2022) and a paper that highlights the role of human knowledge in explainable artificial intelligence (Tocchetti and Brambilla, 2022).


Find here the full list scientific publications!