Midyear 2020 Update from the IEA Executive Committee (EC)

The IEA EC sends heartfelt wishes for the health and safety of all of our members in these crazy times. Because of international travel restrictions, we held the first-ever virtual IEA Executive Committee meeting, 24-26 April 2020. We discussed the multiple activities that the IEA Officers, Standing Committee Chairs, and other EC members are involved in and made plans for future actions. At this point, we do not know when (or whether) we will hold a face-to-face Council meeting in 2020. Everything is uncertain because our world is uncertain right now. Please be patient as we see what happens with COVID-19 across the globe.
This report outlines our activities since the last Council meeting in Denmark, August 2019. IEA adopted a policy-driven approach for our operations. Activities are designed to address one or more of 7 Policies that outline our broad values and goals. Although each activity is listed only once, please note that many of them address several policies. Also please note that most activities are collaborative among several EC members. If you would like more information on any parts of this report, please contact IEA Secretariat Administrator Lynn Strother, secretariat@iea.cc
1.    Engage stakeholders. IEA internal stakeholders include our member societies, Technical Committees (TCs), and sustaining members. External stakeholders include HF/E educators, scientists, and practitioners; national and international organizations with similar missions; and those who benefit from HF/E science and practice. Stakeholder-related activities since August 2019 included:
  •  Face-to-face and virtual meetings of officers, EC members, society members, and external stakeholders to discuss plans and activities
  • Initiation of IEA NewsBriefs – monthly updates from IEA to members and external stakeholders
  • Quarterly Newsletters to Technical Committee chairs
  • Member responses to COVID-19 published on the IEA website as resources for mutual sharing.
2.     Collaborate with and reinforce networks. In addition to support of individual societies’ activities and events, we encourage collaborations between IEA and networks, and among regional network members.  These collaborations can provide a stronger and broader base for spreading HF/E knowledge and practice, especially in areas of the world where HF/E is not yet well established. Activities included:
  • ULAERGO and IEA collaboration for VI ULAERGO Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina (25-29 November 2019)
  • Special Workshop IEA/ULAERGO: “How to encourage the development of research and practical applications of high-quality ergonomics in Latin America”
  • SURA project – ongoing project to connect SURA, a multi-Latin insurance company, with local professors and other HF/E experts in ULAERGO
  • ErgoAfrica, IEA, and ESN collaboration for the 9th National Congress of the Nigerian Ergonomics Society at the University of Nigeria, Enugu (4-9 November 2019)
  • ErgoAfrica and IEA collaboration to seek funding from the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme for student and staff mobility in Africa (Deadline – 19 May 2020)
  • IEA visit to China and participation in the 2019 China Ergonomics National Member Congress and Academic Conference held in Xi’an, from August 31-September 3 2019
  • IEA visit to India and participation in the ACED meeting on 7 November 2019 as well as in the successful HWWE2019 Conference at the National Institute of Technology from 8-10 November, both in Jalandhar, India.
  • ACED, SEANES, and IEA collaboration for a potential workshop at a congress in Bohol, Philippines (1-4 December 2020 – to be confirmed)
3.     Contribute to science, technology, and practice. The mission of IEA is to elaborate and advance HF/E science and practice. The IEA Triennial Congress is a primary way that we do this. We also recognize excellent contributions to HF/E science, technology, and practice through IEA awards. We support TC and society conferences and represent the HF/E discipline at conferences of related organizations. Activities included:
  IEA2021 –  Collaboration on the IEA2021 scientific and technical program
  Conference Endorsements:
  • CIEHF 2020 combined with 13th International Symposium on HF in ODaM (Organizational Design and Management), 28-29 April 2020
  • ARSO 2020, IEEE/TC HFiR, 8-10 October 2020 (ongoing)
  • 2020 IEEE International Conference on Advanced Robotics and Its Social Impacts
  • ACED SEANES2020, Philippines, 2-4 December 2020
  • Ergonomics 2020, Croatian Ergonomics Society (CrES), 2-5 December 2020
  • PREMUS 2022, Bengaluru, India, 4-9 September 2022
  • BeyondWork 2020, German Ministry for Education and Research, 20-21 October 2020
  • Participation on the Advisory Board
  • Organization of session focused on HF/E and future work
  • Two new annual awards (the IEA/Kingfar Award and the IEA/Tsinghua Award) were contracted for three years starting in 2019 and were awarded at the end of 2019.
  • The IEA/Kingfar Award: The 2019 awardees were Liuxing Tsao, Mengli Yu, Guilbert Huber, and Rodrigo Arcuri. 2020 applications are due by June 30.
  • The IEA/Tsinghua Award: The 2019 awardee was D.Y. Sha (Ergonomics Society of Taiwan).  2020 applications are due by June 30.

4.     Identify the roles of IEA in promoting education, certification, and professional standards.  IEA promotes high-quality HF/E across the globe through the identification of requirements for educational and certification programs, and recognition of programs that are rigorous in their certification of HF/E professionals.

5.     Strengthen relationships with external partners. IEA cooperates with other international bodies with common or similar goals. In some cases, Memoranda of Understanding have been established to facilitate collaboration, mutual support, information exchange, and joint activities. In other cases, relationships are more formally defined. IEA is a registered NGO of the United Nations. IEA maintains official Non-State Actor status with the World Health Organization (WHO) and is a registered NGO of the International Labour Organization (ILO).  Recent activities included:
  •  Renewed IEA Non-State Actor status and initiated a Joint NGO dedicated Program for Patient Safety (2020-2022)
  • Initiated joint document Applying HF/E to Healthcare for Patient Safety
  •  Initiated collection of HF/E in patient safety case studies to support the above document. If you have a case study to submit, contact Michelle Robertson, Chair of Communications and Public Relations Committee, mmrobertson123@gmail.com
  • WHO, GRC, and IEA collaboration on Global Knowledge Sharing Platform for Patient Safety, development of guidelines for implementation of HFE in healthcare  (2-3 December 2019)
  • Presented the HF/E perspective – what HF/E can contribute to patient safety—as invited participants at the WHO Global Consultation on Patient Safety (Geneva, 25-27 February 2020).
  • Submitted IEA/ILO high-level guidance document Principles and Guidelines for Human Factors/Ergonomics (HF/E) Design and Management of Work Systems. This document will be available for download soon.
  • ILO Think Pieces written by IEA EC members – available for download from ILO.org or IEA.cc
  • Work from Home: Human Factors/Ergonomics Considerations for Teleworking
  • Work at the Sharp End:  Human Factors/Ergonomics for protecting healthcare workers and patients
  • Participated in ILO World Day for Safety and Health webinar
 ISQua (International Society for Quality in Health Care) 
  •  Creating special joint issue of the International Journal for Quality in Healthcare (IJQH) on HF/E in healthcare /Covid19
  • Published editorials in IJQH and in PSNetwork on the role of HFE in healthcare
  • Promoted the role of HFE in ISQUA Webinar
6.     Reinforce the infrastructure of IEA.  IEA needs a strong infrastructure in order to accomplish our mission and goals as reflected in these policies.  We took several steps since the Denmark meeting to reinforce and enhance our operational infrastructure, including:
  • Development and launching of the redesigned IEA website.
  • Virtual meetings with internal and external stakeholders using Zoom and other platforms
  • New sustaining members who contribute to funding IEA operations
  • Maintenance of the communication infrastructure through Constant Contact and iea.cc
  • A new enhanced accounting system enables IEA to navigate the Swiss regulatory structure
  • Initiation of ad hoc committee to examine the IEA business model and make recommendations for changes and enhancements.
7.     Maintain a future focus for HF/E.  IEA has a focus on the future. We need to be adaptable, resilient, and sustainable in our practices and processes. Enhancements to IEA’s infrastructure will enable us to promote the Future of HF/E and the Future of Work. Planned activities include:
  •  Develop a new “World View of HF/E” as part of the business model
  • Create new awards jointly with related external organizations
  • Strengthen our capacity for virtual meetings and electronic voting
  • Create HF/E observatories around the globe (HFE Observatories’ aims, scope and role will be available in English and Spanish from the new IEA website).