After-Action review of the public health response of Slovenia to the COVID-19 pandemic


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. After-Action review of the public health response of Slovenia to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stockholm: ECDC; 2024.

At the request of the Slovenian National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), ECDC designed and facilitated an After-Action review (AAR) for the NIJZ, focusing on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic between October 2020 to March 2021. ECDC managed the methodological approach and were the principal AAR facilitators, with support from a colleague from the World Health Organization (WHO) EURO.

Executive summary

The After-Action review (AAR) provided an opportunity for the participating bodies to share experiences and collectively analyse the public health response to COVID-19 in the country. The main objectives were to identify issues, challenges and best practice and propose actions to improve coordination and communication, address key preparedness gaps and support national pandemic preparedness and response planning.

This AAR workshop took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 19-21 September 2023, and focused on three response areas: public health and social measures (PHSM) implemented in community settings, vaccine deployment, and risk communication and community engagement (RCCE). The selection of these topics and the AAR timeframe (October 2020 through March 2021) represents a transitional moment when the key role previously played by PHSMs began to be complemented by the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The findings of this review provide the basis for improving and strengthening preparedness and response in Slovenia. Overarching and specific findings per area and related recommendations discussed at the workshop are presented below. These recommendations are applicable on system levels and across all organizational levels, ranging from governmental and ministerial levels to other agencies within the healthcare system, as well as NIJZ.