Writing briefs to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on critical issues across seven domains—from economic development to broadband access to housing—with a focus on contextualizing these domains pre-COVID, assessing long-term challenges, and fostering community dialogue.
Because of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, decisionmakers need to quickly address challenges impacting their communities, often with limited contextual information and limited understanding of long-term implications. Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) aims to produce research briefs on key topics and create a common framework for local leaders to understand and address the most pressing issues in central Ohio during and after the pandemic. These topics will include economic and community development; employment and small businesses; housing markets; the social sector (i.e., nonprofit and philanthropic organizations); technology and broadband access; transportation; vulnerable populations; and disproportionately impacted communities and neighborhoods.
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission will collaborate with organizations to produce briefs that identify the three to five most critical issues for each topic. The briefs will provide context (including data highlighting spatial disparities) about how these issues were impacting communities before the pandemic and about the pandemic’s effect on them. This context will elevate the underlying structural factors contributing to inequities that are being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The briefs will also assess solutions that have been implemented in response to the pandemic. A distinguishing feature of the briefs will be discussions of the long-term risks posed to community prosperity if these critical issues are not addressed.
The briefs are intended to build on and provide specificity on funding decisions and ongoing policy discussions on health, racial, and income disparities in central Ohio. They will also serve as communications resources for a broader audience, including the media, nonprofit organizations, issue-based advocates, and community leaders.