In 2021, the JALLC completed a study that essentially looked at how NATO was using collaboration tools during the COVID-19 pandemic and what potential lessons could be learned for the (then) post-COVID future. That future has now arrived with many nations switching off their COVID-apps and almost all COVID restrictions being lifted world-wide.

As such, it’s a good time to glimpse back and consider how NATO responded to the lockdown requirements in terms of ensuring that its staff could carry out business as usual during the pandemic, and what can be learned from the experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a wide-reaching impact on working practices globally. Many nations implemented confinement plans or lockdowns where populations were either mandated or recommended to work in shifts, or work from home if at all possible. Similar policies were also implemented to varying extents by NATO entities. This new way of working presented many challenges for NATO staff, as well as revealing new requirements for tools to support routine work and decision making. NATO responded quickly to the increasing demand for these virtual collaboration tools, allowing its staff to work safely from home, while still ensuring that the Alliance could conduct business as usual.

Some of the tools introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic survived lockdown and have been integrated into the (new) normal Way NATO Works; some seem to have been specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some are still up for debate.

The JALLC’s report on Collaboration Tools in NATO from December 2021—published during the pandemic—set out the key findings from the analysis of the various virtual collaboration tools implemented. Now you can read a summary of them in the latest JALLC factsheet here.

Interesting fact: the JALLC actually used the study as an opportunity to test how Artificial Intelligence into could be integrated into analytical data collection methods using a Voicebot Interviewing application to conduct interviews for this study. The results were encouraging, suggesting that, as this area of Artificial Intelligence develops, there may be benefits for the JALLC’s work and for NATO more generally in deploying this type of application as a force multiplier in the future.


You can find out more about the JALLC's Joint Analysis Projects by downloading our factsheets here.