Viggo Kalandaridis
Research Assistant (Sweden)

Who are you and where are you from?

I’m a Management Consultant and former Technical University of Munich (TUM) Master student from Vallda, Sweden who’s surviving COVID-19 restrictions by reading and jogging.

What do you do at CoronaNet?

I am currently coding policies for Sweden and working on validating existing policies for the country. I was previously part of the “Analyzing the Coronavirus Pandemic in Real Time” at the TUM. The course's purpose was to address a variety of analytically interesting and policy relevant questions about the drivers and consequences of the public policies adopted all across the globe in response to the pandemic and produce policy papers with recommendations for future policies. Although I put aside this coursework last summer to focus on my Master thesis, in the future I look forward to picking up the progress I made there to finish the paper and hopefully publish it.

How long have you been with CoronaNet and why did you join?

I joined in May 2020, when I was in lockdown in Munich, Germany. As many others probably recognize, I felt powerless and uncertain about the future when the pandemic hit. I wanted to do something about both my personal situation and the spread of the virus. Joining CoronaNet was the way for me to do that. It was, and still is, an opportunity to provide a small effort to hinder the spread of the virus and gain valuable experiences while doing it.

What are your research interests?

Right now, I’m focused on population density and what policy implications it has for governments from a COVID-19 perspective. In the half-finished paper I mentioned, together with fellow Research Assistants Julia Amtmann and Prabha Neupane, I am investigating whether there is a connection between population density with lockdown, curfew, mass gathering and social distancing restriction policies introduced by governments in response to COVID-19. While so far we have only seen preliminary results, they have been intriguing. I am looking forward to exploring the topic further with Julia and Prabha in the future.
Naela Elmore
Regional Manager (North Africa)
Research Assistant (Tunisia)
Working Paper Series Co-coordinator
Prefect (Hufflepuff)

Who are you and where are you from?

I was born and raised in Cairo in Egypt. However, I am currently finishing up my Masters in Political Science in the United States.

What do you do at CoronaNet?

As a Regional Manager, I provide oversight and support for the North African region’s Research Assistants (RAs) as well as check for completeness and/or accuracy of coded policies. In my role as a Prefect, I help integrate and onboard new RAs into Hufflepuff House as well as manage communication and provide support. As an RA, I code national level policies for Tunisia. More recently, I helped initiate and coordinate the CoronaNet Working Paper Series. This is an initiative that I am particularly proud of as it will help RAs engage with academic writing and the CoronaNet Research Project’s data.

How long have you been with CoronaNet and why did you join?

I have been with the project since late May 2020. I joined because I wanted firsthand experience with academic research. My professional goal is to be involved academia. CoronaNet has not only helped cement that aim, but it also helped me acquire stronger research skills that I will be able apply to future academic opportunities.

What are your research interests?

My research interests are democratic transitioning and development as well as comparative politics of authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). I am particularly fascinated with colonialism and its effect on the contemporary MENA region.
Fadhilah Fitri Primandari
Research Assistant (Indonesia)
Senior Research Assistant Manager
Co-regional Manager (Southeast Asia)
Working Paper Series Co-coordinator
Website Team Member

Who are you and where are you from?

I’m a Political Science graduate from Universitas Indonesia hoping to further my studies soon.

What do you do at CoronaNet?

I’m responsible for several things at CoronaNet. My duty initially entailed coding COVID-19 policies for Indonesia, but as time went by, I took on more duties. Specifically, I ensure the wellbeing of project members, onboard new Research Assistants (RAs) to the Southeast Asia coding team, check policy entries, as well as provide suggestions for the project’s public website. With my colleagues, Naela and Nadja, I co-initiated the CoronaNet Working Paper Series. We’re currently having a fantastic time organizing and running the program. The program aims to help RAs learn more about research and writing.

How long have you been with CoronaNet and why did you join?

I’ve been with CoronaNet since April 1, 2020. I’ve been interested in research for quite some time and was hoping to learn more as well as contribute to the public good through research. I stumbled upon a post from one of the Principal Investigators calling for RAs for this project, so I signed up. I’ve learned so much throughout my time here, and the community has definitely been welcoming. I’m grateful to have joined and become part of the CoronaNet family.

What are your research interests?

Broadly, my research interests are the gendered aspects of political transitions and democratic deepening. More specifically, I take interest in feminist epistemology as well as people’s gendered conceptions of politics and how they shape political decisions and actions in democratic settings. I’m currently deepening my study on feminist institutionalism and its strands, with a plan to incorporate the approach into one of my research projects in the near future. In my free time, I (try to) play catch-up by reading as many books and articles on methodologies as I can.
Md. Azmeer Rahman Sorder
Co-regional Manager (South Asia)
Research Assistant (Bangladesh and West Bengal, India)

Who are you and where are you from?

I am an Economics undergraduate student from Bangladesh studying at the University of Dhaka.

What do you do at CoronaNet?

As a Research Assistant (RA), my primary role involves coding COVID-19 policies for my assigned region and country. Specifically, I am coding Bangladesh’s national COVID-19 policies as well as provincial policies for West Bengal in India. As a Co-regional Manager, I am responsible for RAs coding South Asian countries. The role includes arranging meetings, guiding new RAs, conveying messages and reviewing the policies of the region.

How long have you been with CoronaNet and why did you join?

I have been with the project since June. I had been consistently looking to be part of a research project as I wish to join academia in the future. This project came to me as a golden opportunity and I saw it as a way to contribute to the worldwide pandemic recovery. I hopped on the train and am here now.

What are your research interests?

My recent research interests have shifted towards public policy, macroeconomic theories and health policy. However, my long-term research goals, which have always been in my mind, include defence and peace economics, conflict, economic conditions leading to war and conflict, opportunity costs of war as well sustainable peace through economic measures.
Stella Kim
Project Manager

What do you do at CoronaNet?

The Project Management team recruits and onboards new Research Assistants (RAs), oversees the activity/inactivity of RAs and interns as well as works closely with Regional/Country Managers and Prefects. There are multiple weekly meetings in order to work with the different members of the project as well as to communicate progress and future agendas. It can be busy for sure, but it’s also very nice to see everyone.

How long have you been with CoronaNet and why did you join?

I joined CoronaNet about three months ago in July. I wanted to contribute to the project as much as I could as it is very current and impactful to the global society. Also, the idea of working with people all around the world was fascinating to me.

What are your research interests?

I’m interested in the topic of the use of technology during COVID-19 such as surveillance systems. I wrote a university term paper on the case of South Korea recently and would like to continue researching if possible.
Audrey Firrone
Co-country Manager (France)
Research Assistant (Canada)

What do you do at CoronaNet?

As a Research Assistant (RA), I am responsible for coding Canadian policies on COVID-19 for the national level, as well as for Québec and New Brunswick on the sub-national levels. As a Manager, I am responsible for managing the RAs who code for France at the sub-national level. To do this I verify their forms and hold weekly meetings with them to discuss their progress and any changes in the project. I also serve as a link between the RAs, Principle Investigators and Project Management team. These roles also mean attending various meetings to learn about changes in the project.

How long have you been with CoronaNet and why did you join?

I have been on the project since the end of June, so nearly four months (four months on October 28!). I joined the project as something to do for the summer (obviously it has held my interest since I'm still here) and to feel like I am doing something important during this pandemic. I knew I wouldn't be doing really anything else during the COVID-19 summer so I thought it would be fun to join a research project and try and learn some new things that might help me later in my life.

What are your research interests?

My research interests include: how the media creates or dissolves political movements, what role political affiliations have on media consumption, and how the advent of social media played a role in the way political messaging is delivered to individuals. So obviously, lots of emphasis on communication and politics.