The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to the fore the significant worldwide impact that research from the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies carries in its work with international agencies.

The Institute regularly collaborates with organisations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to provide research and economic modelling of large-scale interventions to improve global health and wellbeing, productivity and health, and the role of women.

Led by director Professor Bruce Rasmussen, VISES researchers in 2020 investigated the economic importance of investing in chronic diseases to prepare for future pandemics.

With the COVID-19 pandemic widely recognised as impacting the elderly and individuals with underlying chronic conditions the most, VISES researchers conducted an economic analysis of 27 countries of all development levels, using the One-Health Tool used by the UN as a health-planning model.

The report, Increasing Social and Economic Benefits Globally: Rates of Return on Health Investments, estimates that countries would gain an average return of US$20 in productivity gains, lower health costs and the number of workers’ lives saved for every US$1 invested in cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

VISES researchers also conducted studies for the United Nations Population Fund evaluating interventions to reduce child marriage and intimate partner violence during the COVID crisis.

Other multi-country evaluation studies VISES has conducted have estimated the benefit–cost ratios for interventions to treat disease and health conditions for children and mothers, those with mental health issues, and for a range of interventions to improve the well-being of adolescents.

VISES research aligns with VU's commitment to planetary health, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of our local and global communities, and the planet we share.

The Victorian Institute of Strategic Economic Studies is situated with the Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities (ISILC), incorporating the Victorian Energy Policy Centre. 

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