On this page, we have brought together a number of resources from current public servants as well as external experts, containing advice and guidance which you might find useful as a policymaker. Make sure to follow your organisation’s normal processes to check the quality of them.

Thank you to those of our members who drew our attention to this material. We are continuously updating this page, so if you have found any additional materials particularly useful, please send them to concierge@apolitical.co

Science of the Virus and its Spread

  • Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research. Our World in Data curates this regularly updated online resource that provides access to the latest data, including figures on a country-by-country basis and test coverage.
  • COVID-19 ask a scientist site. Website by the Foundation of American Scientists, available in English and Spanish, allowing citizens to ask COVID-19 related questions that are answered by scientists. The site offers insights into the latest data, advice for healthcare workers and guidance on how to minimise the risk of infection and propagation.
  • Over 24,000 coronavirus research papers are now available in one place. Article from MIT Technology Review explaining the impact and significance of the Covid-19 Open Research Dataset, a database that consolidates scientific research on the coronavirus family of viruses in a single platform and facilitates researchers’ ability to mine for insights. The database is available on AI2’s Semantic Scholar website.
  • COVID-19 Clinical Research Resources. The International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) hosts a portfolio of resources to accelerate COVID-19 research and collaborative evidence generation, including a secure centralised database for researchers to contribute data and a weekly aggregate data report.

Social Implications

  • The COVID Wake-Up Call. Short video published on Project Syndicate and created by Robert Muggah, co-founder of the Igarapé Institute and SecDev Group breaking down the economic fallout and human cost of the outbreak and advocating for a comprehensive global response to restore confidence in global institutions and the market.
  • For more detail, watch Mr. Muggah’s longer online talk at Singularity University titled Are pandemics increasing and what do they cost? in which he discusses cities and nations’ response to the virus and how they might minimise the increasing threat of pandemics now and into the future.
  • Gender and the coronavirus outbreak. Article from Health Sciences academic Julia Smith exploring the key catalysing questions that need to be asked in order to take a gendered approach to the coronavirus, taking into account women’s social responsibilities as caregivers and their roles in the healthcare workforce.
  • Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Will Rise During Quarantines. So Will Neglect of At-Risk People, Social Workers Say. Article published in ProPublica that provides insights from social workers into the effects that the outbreak will have on elderly and child welfare and health facilities, more broadly. Find out more information from WHO here regarding potential policy responses and government priorities to confront domestic violence.
  • Social science lessons learned from Influenza and SARS. Article from Social Science in Humanitarian Action which explores lessons learned about the social, political and economic dynamics of previous epidemics. The article outlines policy approaches and recommendations to minimise health risks and guide future public health responses.
  • Coronavirus is exploiting an underlying condition: our epidemic of insecurity. Article written by Abdul El-Sayed, former Health Officer for the City of Detroit, analysing how a lack of access to healthcare, economic insecurity and federal policies have enhanced vulnerability and negatively impacted policy responses.

Policy Responses

  • Coronavirus tech handbook. A crowdsourced resource for technologists, public and private institutions and researchers to share information regarding technological and institutional responses to the outbreak. The handbook also presents health and wellbeing tools and best practices.
  • Using the Psychological Science of Crisis Leadership and Communications to Navigate the Coronavirus: A Webinar for Public Officials. Webinar hosted by the American Psychological Association in which top psychology science researchers provide advice on how public officials can lead and communicate effectively through the coronavirus outbreak.
  • WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp. The WHO has launched a messaging service with WhatsApp and Facebook through which government decision-makers and citizens can learn about the latest news and information on coronavirus. It also provides the latest situation reports and numbers in real-time to help policymakers protect population health.
  • Survey: U.S. mayors share their top coronavirus-related concerns. A Medium blog post published by Bloomberg Cities that presents 200-plus US mayors’ main coronavirus-related concerns, including their perspectives on the challenges of managing government and designing effective communication strategies during public health crises.
  • COVID-19 Transportation Response Center. Resource centre by NACTO (National Association of City Transport Officials) with guidance and tools for those in the city transport sector, including rapid response tools for cities and updates.
  • A Resource Guide to Coronavirus for Government Leaders. This guide elaborated by Government Technology includes a selection of links to resources (i.e. COVID-19 information dashboards and examples of local US government responses) with the aim of aiding policymakers to design plans of action.
  • Coping with the Crisis- The Innovation in Politics Institute. A collection of resources from the Innovation in Politics Institute, aiming to share innovative best practice dealing with the crisis from all over Europe with the community.
  • C40 Knowledge Hub. C40 has created a number of policy briefs and implementation guides for cities and local governments, including lessons on safe and effective COVID-19 testing and responding to the virus in global south cities.
  • COVID-19 Public Sector Resources – Medium. A resource centre developed by the Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School, for public sector practitioners to highlight cases, teaching and policy ideas to confront the outbreak.

Policy Tracking Tools

  • Responses – COVID-19 government solutions. Created by the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI), the interactive map includes a collection of global innovative responses, policy challenges being addressed and links to find further information regarding solutions. Also, see Covid19policies.com, an interactive map tracking government responses, testing policies and economic stimulus packages.
  • Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. The University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government’s COVID-19 Government Response Tracker is recording governments’ responses and scoring the stringency of measures on a per-country basis.
  • IMF COVID-19 Policy Responses Tracker. This policy tracker from the International Monetary Fund summarises the key economic responses that governments have taken to limit the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Open Source Digital Tools to Tackle COVID-19. Browse this repository of open source digital tools from the UNDP Global Centre, collating technology to support government responses to the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 Policy Watch. Compare how governments are responding to the outbreak with this policy tracker. The tool, created by the volunteer project COVID-19 Policy Watch, allows users to search interventions by topic and country.
  • COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response. Monitoring from UNESCO on school and university closures, quantifying the number of affected learners and including a snapshot of policy measures.