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Uni needs recruits for pandemic wellbeing impact survey

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Flinders University is seeking volunteers for an anonymous survey on how COVID-19 has affected their lives.

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The university is targeting 600 people from all walks of life to answer 54 questions pertaining to everything from health and resilience, to community vitality and ecological diversity.

Professor Udoy Saikia, the chief investigator and leader of the study, said the goal is to evaluate people’s wellbeing across many factors, with the results to be shared with South Australian policymakers.

“This survey will assist the government with evidence-based policies,” Prof Saikia said.

“The overall idea is to help policymakers identify areas where they can come out with specific policy, not only for this pandemic, but also for the future and how to tackle it.”

Saikia said their wellbeing survey will be similar to the United Nations endorsed Cross-National Happiness Index, and that different socio-economic regions were prioritised to get an understanding how each community has been affected in comparison to the other.

“From the anecdotal evidence worldwide, it shows that the impact of the pandemic depends on people’s socio-economic situation,” he said.

“We are looking at and comparing higher and lower socio-economic council areas, as well as rural areas, and we are hoping that it will give us a very clear picture whether the pandemic impact severity, based on socio-economic status, is correct or not,” Saikia said.

The initial findings will be shared with government officials in November and the full survey published in December.

Saikia said he planned to expand the survey to other states and eventually New Zealand.

“We are in the initial stages of attempting to contact our New Zealand counterparts, with the country implementing policy and focus on achieving wellbeing,” he said.

Anyone wanting to participate in the survey can join by clicking here and taking the survey labelled “Impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of individuals in South Australia”.

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