Research projects

Prospective study INSESS-COVID19 about the Covid-19 impact on the local Social Services

INSESS-COVID19 (Identification of Emerging Social Needs as a consequence of COVID19 and effect on the Social Services of the territory) has been a prospective study made by iSocial and the Intelligence Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Researh Center of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) to know the vulnerabilities of the Catalan population as a result of the crisis of the COVID19 and to contribute elements of decision for the 107 Basic Areas of Social Services of Catalonia.

The Catalan Government, the Catalan Association of Municipalities (ACM) and the Barcelona Regional Government have been taking part.

The consequences of the crisis caused by COVID19 have been devastating from a health point of view, but all indications are that they will also be devastating from an economic and social welfare point of view. COVID19 has created an unprecedented situation and new social needs are more than likely to emerge, which the study has seeked to identify to adequately address. INSESS-COVID19 has used an innovative approach based on mechanisms for quickly obtaining data from participatory processes involving experts in Social Services and also citizens; a mixed methodology that has combined techniques of data science, knowledge management and artificial intelligence, and that has allowed to contribute elements of support to the elaboration of policies in the matter of Social Services in Catalonia.

Unlike much of the research done in the field of COVID-19, which has focused on infection prediction, survival, disease spread, or diagnosis, INSESS-COVID19 has focused on Social Services, largely forgotten about the equation in pandemic management. In the field of Social Services, the worst is probably yet to come. After the overflow of the health system, will come the economic consequences, and an avalanche of social needs that will require the attention of Social Services over the coming years, and may in the immediate future overflow and collapse the Social Services system of the City Councils. That is why the aim of the study has been to shed light on how the local Social Services should preparate for this new scenario.


  • Provide light to the Social Services of the territory, in the short and medium term, to help them prepare to best meet the needs of the population that will appear as a result of COVID19
  • Provide support elements for the elaboration of longer-range policies in the field of Social Services in Catalonia, and to better prepare them to face similar situations in the future
  • Provide a methodology for the rapid diagnosis of a territory in the event of unforeseen events and the risk of system overflow

Obtained results:

  • Co-participatory methodology to support the diagnosis of a territory with the Public Authorities involved and the citizens
  • A system of indicators to diagnose a territory in terms of Social Services and identify pockets of vulnerable population and social needs, known or emerging
  • A typology of profiles of social vulnerability in today’s Catalonia
  • A report with the diagnosis and photograph of the situation in Catalonia after COVID19, which can be used as a basis for proposals for adaptation and response of the Catalan Social Services system to this new scenario



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This