Project Title

Managing Infectious Diseases on Cross-Border Cruise Ships in the Post-COVID-19 Era: Application of Digital Technology 

Project Year

2022   

Project Number

HWG 07 2022A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

HWG 07 2022A 

Project Title

Managing Infectious Diseases on Cross-Border Cruise Ships in the Post-COVID-19 Era: Application of Digital Technology 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Digital Innovation 

Project Year

2022 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

95,000 

Co-funding Amount

70,000 

Total Project Value

165,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Health Working Group (HWG) 

Topics

Health 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Chinese Taipei 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Peru; Thailand; Viet Nam 

Expected Start Date

01/02/2023 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2023 

Project Proponent Name 1

Jen-Hsiang Chuang 

Job Title 1

Dr 

Organization 1

Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(886-2) 23918508 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

ivy0311@cdc.gov.tw 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Jen-Hsiang Chuang 

Project Summary

The cruise industry generates significant economic value for the global economy. However, in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were large-scale clusters of cases among passengers and crews on cruise ships, resulting in a tremendous impact on the cruise tourism industry, especially in the Asia-Pacific region where the cruise output value was ever-growing.

In the post-COVID-19 era, resumption of healthy and safe cross-border cruise travel aimed to revive economic activity in each economy in this region is of great concern. Chinese Taipei proposes a project to provide APEC economies with a platform to share and exchange experience in epidemic prevention practices on cruise ships and to host a conference in September 2023. Conference activities include (1) interactive sessions on strategies to manage infectious diseases and use digital tools to support epidemic prevention on cruise ships and (2) site visits to maritime institute(s) or boarding cruise ships to observe how to implement quarantine measures.

This project will convene a conference for cruise epidemic prevention policy makers and officials, public health officials, border health officers, experts and private sectors (e.g., cruise lines).

Relevance

Issues: The cruise industry comprises a series of supply chains in areas, such as tourism, port services, food and beverage services, daily necessities, ship maintenance and supply, and creates huge economic value. Economies in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Malaysia, are strongholds of the cruise industry. However, in the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were large-scale clusters of cases among passengers and crews on cruise ships. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission through cruise ships, many economies had suspended the berthing of international cruise ships. These measures resulted in a tremendous impact on the cruise tourism industry, especially in the Asia-Pacific region where the cruise output value was ever-growing. Since the pandemic of COVID-19, the cruise industry has been almost at a standstill. Therefore, accelerating the resumption of business activity in the cruise industry in the APEC region and bringing it to the pre-pandemic level in the post-COVID-19 era is a top priority. 

To effectively balance health security and the economy, there is an urgent need for APEC economies to share experiences and strategies with each other and establish public-private partnerships to manage infectious diseases. This project aims to identify opportunities for APEC developing economies to adopt best practices of epidemic prevention on cruise ships and applying innovative digital tools in case investigation and contact tracing. Moreover, the project can create sustained benefits for APEC member economies, as it establishes a regional cooperation network for them to better respond to public health events in the future. 

Eligibility and Fund Priorities: This project meets the eligibility criteria of ASF Digital Innovation Sub-Fund by supporting capacity building for APEC developing economies in adopting best practices of epidemic prevention on cruise ships as well as applying innovative digital technology in infectious disease management on cruise ships. The project is designed to contribute to the key areas of “promotion of interoperability” and “promoting innovation and adopting enabling technologies and services” of APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap and align with the Cross-Border E-Commerce Facilitation Framework, particularly in enhancing cooperation between the public and private sectors. This project encourages the development of innovative digital tools for infectious disease case investigation and contact tracing aboard cruise ships and promotes interoperability between the medical and technology fields. The project focuses on the links between the public and private sectors (e.g., cruise lines) to support research and development of digital tools used to detect and monitor potential infectious disease outbreaks on cruise ships. In addition, this project aims to ensure that women are included and actively participate in all sessions and will collect and report gender data for identifying the gaps. 

Capacity Building: The project intends to promote the capacity of APEC members to prevent and control diseases on cruise ships. By holding the conference, Chinese Taipei will be able to establish a learning platform for both developed and developing economies to exchange knowledge and use digital tools to improve the safety of passengers against epidemics. This project will raise the awareness of the governments and private sectors in APEC member economies about the importance of industry-government-academia collaboration to jointly fight epidemics, strengthen the regional disease control network, and develop suitable digital tools for disease control in APEC member economies. The decision-makers and practitioners of cruise epidemic prevention, public health officials, experts, and cruise companies will be invited to this conference. Therefore, participants can acquire strategies, methods, and skills to effectively control the spread of epidemics on cruise ships, especially in developing economies. After the conference, they can apply the strategies, methods, and skills of epidemic prevention they learn from this conference in their work to accelerate the revival of the cruise industry and improve safe travel for passengers on cross-border cruise ships.

Objectives

The project is designed to promote safe cross-border cruise travel and build the overall resilience in the Asia-Pacific region before the next pandemic.

The specific objectives of the project will be to:

(1) Invite relevant public and private sectors to share experiences and strategies for managing infectious diseases on cruise ships with APEC members.

(2) Improve APEC developing members’ capacities to apply innovative digital tools in case investigation and contact tracing for infectious disease control on cruise ships. 

(3) Create a regional cooperation network on cruise infectious disease prevention.

Alignment

Alignment to APEC: This project meets Thailand’s policy priorities for APEC 2022, the priority 2: Restoring Connectivity in All Dimensions which focuses on promoting safe and seamless resumption of cross-border travel, reinvigorating tourism and the services sector, increasing investment in health security as well as facilitating greater business mobility, while utilizing digital technology to accelerate connectivity within the region. 

This project is in line with the 2021 Leaders' Declaration, under which the leaders declared “we support APEC playing a greater role in promoting information exchange and coordination measures related to cross-border movement of people, including in relation to air and maritime crew, and COVID-19 testing and vaccination certificates”. 

This project relates to Aotearoa Plan of Action (November 2021): “Economies will…promote and cooperate on measures that facilitate the safe cross-border movement of people, particularly in the context of changing pandemic related health and travel measures, so as to strengthen tourism, aviation and similarly affected sectors"; 

This project aligns with APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting Joint Statement, the ministers express that “We direct officials to discuss how APEC can better support air crews, facilitate business mobility across the region, and advance discussions on digital solutions to facilitate safe travel in the region, and report on progress before our APEC Ministerial Meeting in November.” 

This project aligns with the APEC Connectivity Blueprint for 2015-2025: “Under People-to-People Connectivity, we will strive to facilitate the movement of people across borders, and to facilitate the exchange of innovative ideas. As such, issues of business travel mobility, cross-border education, tourism facilitation, and skilled labor mobility will be addressed under this pillar.” 

Alignment to Forum: HWG Work Plan for 2022, “CONNECT with the World”: “The HWG will explore how HWG could play a critical role in contributing to the safe resumption of cross-border travel, including through the use of digital technology. 

HWG Strategic Plan 2021-2025: “The HWG will encourage and support policy work, research and its translation into practice, and innovation, including in digital health, to achieve its objectives and improve health outcomes and health systems in the APEC region while addressing the current and future needs of all APEC member economies.” 

Healthy Asia Pacific 2020 Initiative: the key area of “Improving health emergency preparedness, surveillance, response and recovery systems for public health events and disasters in the APEC region” and the project  " encourages developed economies to work with/collaborate with to developing economies, and the latter to make good use of these resources and opportunities to develop their own health systems and capacities by strengthening disease prevention and control and ensuring basic medical services are available to all”. This project also relates to the following key factors of the Healthy Asia Pacific 2020 Roadmap: (1) Prevention, control and awareness; (2) Innovation; and (3) Inter-sectoral and cross-border collaboration. 

Joint Statement of 11th High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy 2021: “HLM11 recognized that the COVID‐19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and the need to strengthen digital infrastructure.” and “We recognized that such solutions reinforce APEC’s work on essential goods; minimize disruption to and enhance the resilience of supply chains; support the safe resumption of cross‐border travel.” 

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Output

Description

1)   One and a half day conference

a) To be held in Keelung City, Chinese Taipei in Sep. 2023.

b) Around 80-100 participants from at least 10-12 APEC economies.

c) This conference will invite cruise epidemic prevention policy makers and officials, public health officials, border health officers, experts and private sectors (e.g., cruise lines).

d) The conference will have 2-3 sessions (one day), which focus on sharing best cruise epidemic prevention strategies and using digital tools to support infection control measures and contact tracing. Each session will be followed by a panel discussion.

e) Site visit (half day): Visiting 1-2 public/private institute(s) with good practices in cruise epidemic prevention or arranging a demonstration of how ship quarantine measures are taken. Participants will make a site visit to the “Port of Keelung and Taiwan International Ports Corp, Ltd”.

2)   The Conference Report

The expected length of the Conference Report will be 12-15 pages.

The rough structure of the document will include: Cover page, table of contents, introduction, and topic-based summaries of presentations, discussions , conclusions and recommendations.


Outcomes: 

1. By participating in the conference, APEC member economies can exchange experience, begin dialogue, and cooperate with each other, while balancing the epidemic prevention capabilities of developing and developed economies. The relevant knowledge and technology can be used as a reference for the planning and implementation of cruise epidemic prevention policies, thereby improving epidemic prevention resilience in the Asia-Pacific region. By reducing the impact of infectious diseases on the cruise industry, cruise travel safety and economic as well as trade exchanges under the epidemic can be ensured.

2. Encouraging health authorities and cruise operators to consider introducing digital tools for routine epidemic prevention measures, which will improve the efficiency of cruise ship epidemic prevention.

3. This project will promote the industry-government-academia collaboration and develop innovative, convenient, and user-friendly digital epidemic control tools.

Beneficiaries: The target beneficiaries of this project are:

1. The primary beneficiaries:

a. The conference can strengthen the capacity of APEC economies. Cruise epidemic prevention policy makers and officials, public health officials and border health officers (strategic or managerial staff) will not only gain experience in policy planning and practical implementation, but also deepen their relationships with experts, scholars and the industry, so as to improve the strategies of infectious disease control in their economies. Thus, this project can promote safe cruise travel through the whole-of-government approach.

b. In order to make the greatest impact on the home economies of conference participants, the cruise-related international organizations that we wish to invite (such as the CLIA and Association for Cruises Development of Taiwan) are those with the experience in cruise epidemic prevention and decision-makers or implementers of cruise epidemic prevention policies. After the conference, the lessons learned may be brought back to their economies for effective application. Through this conference, cruise operators’ awareness about digital technology application in an epidemic will be raised. Cruise operators can also consider adopting operationally appropriate digital tools to support routine prevention and control measures of infectious diseases on cruise ships. Therefore, cruise operators can effectively promote the health and safety of passengers and crew members, so as to reduce operational losses caused by outbreaks of infectious diseases on board ships in the future.

2. The secondary beneficiaries:

a. This project may provide possible opportunities for future cross-forum collaboration between the representatives of other APEC working groups (TPTWG, TWG).

b. During the conference, the representatives of international organizations related to cruise health (such as CLIA), experts and academia can gain practical epidemic prevention experience on cruise ships and conduct interdisciplinary exchanges with each other. The APEC Non-Member Participation Process will be followed.

Dissemination

The conference handbook, including the agenda, speakers’ presentation slides and relevant materials, will be compiled prior to the conference and distributed to the participants on site. An electronic copy of the conference handbook will be uploaded to the conference website which will be set up before the conference. Furthermore, after the conference, an electronic copy of the conference handbook, list of experts, related documentation about conference and photos will be posted on the website of the Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare (https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En ).

The participants are encouraged to make optimal use of the above conference documents. They can duplicate the conference materials and share them with their colleagues and decision-makers to disseminate the knowledge gained after returning to their economies.

The Conference Report will be submitted as an APEC publication. We will keep in close contact with the APEC Secretariat and follow the privacy provisions of the Guidebook on APEC Project when we submit the Conference Report. 

The target audiences of this conference are expected to include cruise epidemic prevention policy makers and officials, public health officials, quarantine officers, experts in communicable disease prevention, the private sector (e.g., cruise lines), academia, NGOs, and international organizations.

Chinese Taipei has no intention of selling outputs resulting from this project.

Gender

This project will make efforts to provide equitable opportunities for men and women. In line with the APEC’s guidance for gender equality as provided by the Guidebook on APEC Projects, this project can contribute to the “skills, capacity building and health” and “innovation and technology” pillars. Thus, women can benefit from and participate in the development of digital technology and health systems. Their knowledge, skills and capacity of digital technology of infectious disease control could be strengthened, empowering women to engage in areas related to infectious disease control.

This project will ensure active participation of women, as speakers and attendees. Invitation documents prepared by the PO will also include languages that encourage balanced gender representation. We will try to arrange each session with female speakers and moderators. Considering infectious diseases can affect men and women differently, we will encourage speakers to present their latest gender analysis of epidemiological surveys and also to discuss the linkage between gender-related problems and digital technology.

The PO is committed to collecting sex disaggregated data for all speakers and participants at the project event. This data will be included when submitting the Completion Report to the Secretariat upon completion of the project, as well as providing guidance to future POs on their own gender parity targets. This data will be used to assess compliance with the project’s gender targets at the conclusion of the project, with performance data shared with APEC members.

Targets

Female Participants (%)

At least 30%

Female Speakers/Experts (%)

At least 30%

Referring to the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals in the Guidebook on APEC Projects, please tick the pillar or pillars that this project supports, in promoting women’s economic empowerment:

5 Pillars (you may tick more than one)

1

Access to Capital and Assets

2

Access to Markets

3

Skills, Capacity Building, and Health

X

4

Leadership, Voice and Agency

5

Innovation and Technology

X


Work Plan

Timeline

Tasks

Deliverables

Feb 2023

Establishing a conference planning team and assigning responsibilities.

Conference planning team and working plan

Feb – Apr 2023

Consulting related agencies, academic sectors, and other interested stakeholders from the host economy and co-sponsoring economies.

Identifying topics of sessions and speakers.

Finalizing the conference program and inviting moderators and speakers.

Finalized conference program

Invitation emails to moderators and speakers

Mar – Apr 2023

Engaging short-term workers and contractors

Open selection meeting

A signed contract

Apr – May 2023

Developing the conference agenda.

Setting up the conference’s website and online Post-conference Evaluation system.

Collecting moderators and speakers’ profiles.

 Conference agenda, materials

Conference’s website

Post-conference Evaluation system

Jun 2023

Drafting the General Information Circular and disseminating it to participants.

Preparing logistic issues to organize the Conference (finance, secure venue, services and other equipment…)

General Information Circular

Jul – Aug 2023

Preparing logistic issues for speakers and participants from travel – eligible members (advance payment, flight tickets, non-member participation list…)

Confirming the attendance of invited participants.

Collecting speech abstracts and presentation slides.

Confirmed list of speakers

Collection of speakers’ profiles and presentations

Confirmed list of participants

Sep 2023

Organizing the 1.5-day conference in Chinese Taipei.

Conducting Post-conference Evaluation and collecting the results.

Final Conference agenda and Event Attendance List

Conference

Collection of documents of the Conference

Post-conference Evaluation results

1.      1 Oct 2023

Submit the APEC Project Monitoring Report.

APEC Project Monitoring Report

31 Oct 2023

Drafting the Conference Report and submitting it to the Secretariat for review, followed by forum endorsement

Endorsed Conference Report

Feb 2024

Submit the APEC Project Completion Report and supporting documents to the Secretariat.

APEC Project Completion Report

2.      6 to 12 months after project completion

Participation in the Long Term Evaluation of APEC Projects (LTEAP) survey.



Risks

No.

Risks

How will it be managed?

1

Unexpected outbreaks of diseases or natural disasters occur before or during the conference.

If an unexpected disaster or outbreak of a disease occurs before the conference, we will consult with the APEC Secretariat and all APEC economies to decide whether the conference should proceed. After the threat of the sudden event and the opinions from the APEC Secretariat and all APEC members are assessed, the decision whether the conference should be postponed or held on time will be made. In addition, if most of the moderators, speakers and participants of the conference show their hesitancy about attending the conference due to the sudden event, we will postpone the conference until further notice. Moreover, a well-organized preparedness plan for unexpected disasters will be formulated during the planning stage of the conference. Local emergency units and police departments will be consulted in order to ensure a safe environment for all participants.

2

Economies not applying knowledge learned or adopting recommendations from the project.

Prior to the conference, we will build a registration website that can provide the agenda, speakers’ information, presentation slides, attendee list, related materials, etc.  Participants can view the conference topics and other information on the website before registering. They can better understand what type of information or knowledge could be gained from the conference. They could also consider whether the information is useful for further application in workplace or not. Besides that, we will work closely with potential speakers to ensure their presentations meet the needs of HWG members. If participants have difficulties utilizing the skills and knowledge which they gain from the conference, they can contact the conference organizer, speakers or stakeholders directly. The contact information of the speakers and key stakeholders will be released and updated on the website of Centers for Disease Control.

3

Lower Participation

To reduce the risk of low participation, invitations will be sent in a timely manner, and we will request confirmation early. Therefore, the percentage of participation will be constantly followed up, and a backup participant list will be developed. We will emphasize the objectives of the conference in invitations to motivate the participation of guests. 


Monitoring and Evaluation

Evaluation Focus

Indicators

Target Goals

Evaluation Method

Reporting Method

Outputs

1.   Conference

1.    No. of participants (excl. speakers/ experts)

At least 80

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

2.    % of participating men/women (excl. speakers/experts)

At least 30% of participants are female

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

3.    No. of speakers/
experts engaged

At least 8

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

4.    % of speakers/
experts (men/women)

At least 30% of speakers/

Experts are female

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

5.    No. of attending economies

At least 10

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

6.    No. of travel eligible economies

5

Event Attendance List

Completion Report

7.    Satisfaction rate of the conference in general

At least 80%

Post-conference Evaluation

Completion Report

2.   Conference Report

1.    No. of pages

12-15

Certification by PO

Email to the Secretariat

2.    Submission to the Secretariat

1 Nov 2023

Submission to the Secretariat

Email to the Secretariat

Outcomes

1.    Participants knowledge of strategies on managing infectious diseases on cruise ships

1.   % of participants report substantial knowledge increase

70%

Post-conference Evaluation

Completion Report

2.    Developing APEC economies report substantial knowledge increase

25%

Post-conference Evaluation

Completion Report

3.    Women report substantial knowledge increase

33%

Post-conference Evaluation

Completion Report


Linkages

Compared with other projects, this project will focus more on epidemic prevention and control aboard cruise ships to reduce the impact of health-related threats to the economy, tourism, and port services of member economies. This project can create possible cross-fora collaboration, particularly with the Transportation Working Group (TPTWG), Tourism Working Group (TWG) and will share information in related fora. Chinese Taipei will also reach out to industry stakeholders to promote public-private collaboration. Experts from non-APEC member economies and other international organizations, such as the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), will also be invited as either moderators or speakers.

Sustainability

The participants of this conference can share their practical experience, knowledge, and skills gained from the event with their colleagues in their home economies and internalize them as future strategies on the application of digital tools in epidemic prevention on cruise ships. In addition, the communication network established through the conference will be long-term, effective, and beneficial to epidemic control on cruise ships.  Furthermore, the Conference Report generated after this conference will have a sustained impact on APEC economies and other forums as it can be used as a reference for epidemic prevention policies. Since this project is an industry-academia-government platform, the conference will create opportunities for mutual cooperation to achieve the goals of jointly promoting human health and welfare as well as accelerating the recovery of the cruise industry.

Project Overseers

Dr. Jen-Hsiang Chuang is the primary project overseer.

Dr Jen has been involved in tackling all scales of disease outbreaks, including the H1N1 pandemic, the H7N9 outbreak, the rabies outbreak among animals, the MERS outbreak overseas, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact person

Ms. Ivy Chien is assigned to be the project coordinator to coordinate with the APEC secretariat, professional event organizer, and APEC economies and to manage and implement this project. Her contact details are as follows:

Hui Yi Chien (Ivy) International Cooperation Officer

Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare

Tel:  +886 2 23579861        Fax: +886 2 23920190              E-mail: ivy0311@cdc.gov.tw


Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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