COVID-19: An Update from Oxford Research Group Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxford Research Group (ORG) has had to adjust the way it works. Our team are all now working from home and our London office is closed for the time being. We would like to update you about how our team is adapting and let you know about upcoming ORG events, roundtables, podcasts and publications. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our monthly newsletter for all the latest updates on ORG’s work. All the team at ORG hope you stay safe and healthy in these difficult times. Remote Warfare Programme Roundtables have moved online: We have moved the second of two roundtables on the 2020 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy online. To adapt to this new format, we have split the full-day roundtable into three mini-roundtables with fewer participants and speakers in each, so everyone can fully engage. Meetings have moved online: Our team are now conducting all of our meetings online. This includes our internal team meetings but also our meetings with external experts. We are working hard to maintain our high level of engagement with external experts. Conferences have been moved online: We were arranging panels and workshops at the 2020 European Workshop on International Studies and the 2020 African Studies Association Conference. These have both been cancelled. We have taken this as an opportunity to test out new and existing ways of engaging with experts across the world; as a replacement for these conferences, we will therefore host written roundtables on our website, hold Q&A rounds with the authors on Twitter, and have a series of podcasts with conference speakers over the Autumn. Additional content on COVID-19: COVID-19 is likely to change not only how we work but what we work on. The implications of the virus have already been far reaching, impacting not just our health but how we live our lives, interact with each other and conduct international affairs. While Western countries are consumed by the crisis in their own countries, we will be publishing a series of blogs, podcasts and briefings warning that the pandemic will be much more destructive if it takes hold in weak and conflict-affected states. Yemen project The already complex situation in Yemen is further complicated by the global outbreak of COVID-19 as the new barriers to face-to-face dialogue significantly reduce the likelihood of peace negotiations being possible in the near future. It is, therefore, all the more important to continue building the engagement and buy-in of local actors for a future peace process through multi-track peacebuilding initiatives designed to contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable agreement in the future. To this end and despite the new circumstances, the Strategic Thinking Groups formed through the previous phases of the Reshaping the Process Yemen project will continue developing conflict engagement strategies. These will help them become constituencies for peaceful change, develop a stronger, more cohesive societal infrastructure and build Yemen's future social contract. ORG and its Yemeni partner, the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies, will continue the work of the project and build on the momentum of the previous phases. As COVID-19 is likely to prevent any travel (international or local) during the upcoming months and bearing in mind the critical need to protect the wellbeing of our participants, ORG alongside our partner will shift the project operations from convening physical gatherings to online and digital activities throughout the next six months. Israel-Palestine projects So far, the impact of COVID-19 on ORG’s work in Israel and Palestine has been minimal as many of the scheduled activities were finalised shortly before social distancing measures were introduced. However, public launches in Ramallah and Gaza of the Palestine Strategy Group’s most recent strategic report - Palestine 2020 - which is the culmination of three years' of collective strategic thinking and research, were unfortunately unable to go ahead. Depending on how events unfold in the coming months, these launch events will either be delayed or replaced by a virtual launch. Research on Palestinian institutional capacity in Europe and North America remains unaffected with closed-door discussions with experts and policymakers scheduled for late 2020. ORG is in regular contact with all associates, groups and partners connected to its Israel-Palestine work and has their wellbeing and health at the forefront of all that it does. Other ORG activity In May ORG will launch its Sustainable Security Index project. We have spent the last three years examining how the many drivers of instability can be built into an index in a way that is useful and accessible for policymakers, activists, local communities and other key stakeholders. The Index offers quantifiable evidence of 155 states’ impact on global insecurity in an easy to understand and accessible way. You can expect the publication of an extensive report and the launch of the Index’s own website. You can continue to enjoy Professor Paul Rogers’ ever popular monthly briefings on a variety of international security topics as well as news and briefings from our team and other ORG Fellows. Image credit: MaxPixel.