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Table 1 Mitigating activities implemented or increased during the humanitarian crisis

From: Research on aging during the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis: the experience of the Maracaibo aging study

Mechanism Challenges Activities to counteract the challenges
Community dynamics *Political climate and polarized views
*Accelerated deterioration of basic services and safety
*Logistics affecting staff and participants
*Mistrust in local funding
-Off-site activities (trainings, assessments, events).
-Circuits of communication via instant messages/social media.
-Scenario exercises.
-Liaison with drivers, family members of staff, participants, and law enforcement to facilitate mobilization of participants.
-Focus groups, community consultations for solutions.
Morale of researchers, staff, and participants *Ethical issues
*Staff emigration
*Logistics affecting staff and participants
-Increased communication.
-Social marketing through various channels.
-Empowering local teams.
-Flexible schedules and work from home.
-Reflection time included in work hours.
-Workshops on coping skills for staff and participants.
-Develop sense of ownership in the community.
-Weekly debriefing with program managers.
-Networking with the emigrated staff.
Financial viability *Augmented burden for administrative and financial management
*Mistrust in foreign funding
*Supply difficulties
-Adjustment of protected time for research in contracts
-Continuous communication with assessment sites.
-Direct import of lab supplies and project supplies.
-Maintain stock of supplies to use per year.
-Efficient negotiations with providers, staff, sites.
-Integration with current flows of work.
-Organizational capacity development.
-Partnership management strategies.
-Lobby donors.
Components of the research processes *Logistics affecting staff and researchers
*Augmented burden for administrative and financial management
*Supply difficulties
-Flexibility, contingency plans.
-Standardized training and more supportive monitoring.
-Redundant local data storage on hard drives and physical transfer.
-Incorporation of home visits and phone interviews for assessments.
-Rigorous enforcement of protection of human subjects.
-Detailed job descriptions in advertisements.
-Weekly documentation of progress.
Health of staff, participants, and their families *Deterioration of basic services and safety
*Ethical issues
*Staff emigration
*Political climate and polarized views
-Free meals provided for participants.
-Distribution of free antipyretics and condoms during Zika virus epidemic.
-Free medical consultation for participants.
-Partnering with private healthcare providers for consultations & exams of participants (neurology, cardiology, psychology, ophthalmology) when needed.
-Educational programs.
-Management of referral network.
-Engagement with local healthcare authorities and directors of healthcare centers.