Monday, February 26, 2024

Pandemic Recovery Focus Groups Seeking Participants 16 regional focus groups will identify issues and opportunities, and inform policy recommendations

Feb 26, 2024

The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) and the UNC School of Government’s ncIMPACT Initiative have partnered to engage focus groups in 16 regions of the state spanning all 100 counties. Participants will help provide valuable insight on pandemic recovery efforts, including the impacts of state and federal programs aimed at addressing the effects of COVID-19, as well as remaining obstacles and opportunities.

“North Carolina has made a lot of progress since 2020, and this is an opportunity to ensure we continue that momentum,” said NCPRO Executive Director Stephanie McGarrah. “We want to hear first-hand which pandemic-era programs were most effective, and where policymakers and state government should focus efforts moving forward.”

How to get involved

Local government leaders, nonprofits, community advocates, faith leaders, business owners, and others representing diverse communities or regional interests are encouraged to participate by completing an online interest form. If invited to participate, organizers will reach out by email to provide more information including the date and time of the focus group, and whether it’s being held virtually or in person.

The first focus group will be held Wednesday, February 28 in the Piedmont-Triad region, with additional focus groups to be scheduled throughout March. A schedule and list of regions, organized by county, can be found here.

“Community leaders have valuable insight to share about what worked and what didn’t during North Carolina’s pandemic response,” said Anita Brown-Graham, director of the UNC School of Government’s ncIMPACT Initiative. “We’re eager to bring people together and listen to what they learned and how their communities continue to respond to the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19.”

How will focus group feedback be used?

NCPRO and the ncIMPACT Initiative will evaluate the results of all 16 focus groups to identify regional and statewide trends, and form recommendations on continuing recovery efforts to build more resilient communities post-pandemic. A final report with analysis will be released publicly.

Focus group feedback will also contribute to the ongoing research of the North Carolina Community Engagement Survey, which has been collecting feedback on community wellbeing since May 2022. Both initiatives are funded through a grant to the Governor’s Office from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Media Contacts

Inquiries or interview requests about the focus groups should be directed to Chelsea Brock at Contact Jessie Holmes at with questions regarding pandemic recovery funds, NCPRO, or the North Carolina Community Engagement Survey.