Team designing and planning an IAR/AAR

Intra and After-Action Reviews – translating theory into practice for professionals across eight EU states


In(tra)-Action Reviews (IARs) and After-Action Reviews (AARs) are part of the IHR (2005) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and provide an opportunity for collaborative learning to help improve responses to current crises and health threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facilitated by SHARP’s work package 8 co-lead, the Robert Koch Institute and conducted online, this workshop gave health professionals the opportunity to practice designing and planning an IAR/AAR using concrete examples; and to exchange ideas with other practitioners, scientists and experts from ECDC and WHO. By strengthening these capacities, the workshop intended to contribute to the lessons-learned process of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore to better preparedness for future health threats.

The workshop was aimed at professionals from different sectors from the SHARP Joint Action partner countries who planned to conduct an IAR or AAR in their country. Some of them were already familiar with the methodology; others were relatively new to the topic. In total, 22 people from 8 European countries (Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, The Netherlands) took part in the training.

Working with real life scenarios

Before the workshop, participants were required to complete at least one of the e-learning courses on IARs and AARs available from WHO or ECDC. Based on the content of those trainings, the participants developed a rough outline of a concept for a potential IAR or AAR in their country on a currently relevant topic.

The workshop started with a short introduction to the topic and a summary of key aspects regarding phases, formats and good practises of an IAR/ AAR.

The main part of the session consisted of working together in small groups in virtual breakout rooms. 11 groups had developed a concept each for an IAR or AAR before the workshop. These concepts were presented and discussed in a peer-to-peer approach with the other group members and expert facilitators. Finally, the group collected the most important take-home messages, challenges and good practices.

After the breakout session, there was room for discussion in the plenary and the moderators provided some additional tips and good practices to wrap-up the workshop.

Overall satisfaction with the training experience was high at an average score of 89%. Whilst a strong 96% felt better prepared to conduct an IAR or AAR in their country after the workshop.

Read more about SHARP Joint Action, Training and local exercises, exchange of working practices, Work Package 8.

Read more about International Health Regulations (2005) on the WHO website.

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