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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

A call for participation in a GILC and WHO initiative

21.05.2024, by Media Account

Participate in a Delphi study on the importance of social connection for wellbeing

We are a group of academics, activists, and UN agency staff currently conducting a series of activities in the area of social connection for health and well-being. One of these activities is a research priority-setting exercise to establish Grand Challenges in Social Connection. This is a joint initiative between the Department of Social Determinants of Health at the World Health Organization and the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection International Scientific Board.

Decades of scientific evidence document the importance of social connection for wellbeing, and physical and mental health. However, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted notable gaps in the knowledge and evidence base, especially in applying scientific evidence to alleviate human suffering and efforts to mobilize in crises. Priority setting helps identify gaps in research and evidence, policies, advocacy activities, and resources, ensuring efforts make the best use of limited resources and assists stakeholders with planning, resource mobilization, and allocation. As such, through a global priority-setting exercise, we aim to identify research, policy, advocacy, and funding priorities for improving people's health, well-being, safety, and prosperity worldwide through social connection. Similar to other global grand challenges exercises (, we will be focusing on setting priorities for social connection.

For this study, we are conducting a Delphi exercise – a structured technique that uses controlled feedback to arrive at a consensus across a diverse group of experts. We are looking for researchers, policy makers, advocates, practitioners, funders, industry professionals, religious leaders and others working in the field of social connection to participate. Participation will involve two online consultations, and completion of two online surveys during June 2024. We would be grateful if you would agree to participate as a panel member in the project. All of your responses will remain confidential and we will preserve your anonymity in the technical report and paper that will be developed.

This study was reviewed by the WHO ethics review committee, and was given ethics exemption (

If you are willing to participate, please complete this Google Form (, which will ask you to provide basic information about yourself. We will then be in touch regarding your participation and arranging the online consultation.

Thank you for your time.
The Executive Committee Grand Challenges in Social Connection
(Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Mark Tomlinson, Hans IJzerman, Michelle Lim, Miguel Silan, Paul Cann, Melissa Bradshaw, and Chris Mikton)