COVID-19: How YouGov’s partnership with Imperial College London is helping to combat the pandemic
April 12th, 2020, Connor Ibbetson

COVID-19: How YouGov’s partnership with Imperial College London is helping to combat the pandemic

YouGov has partnered with the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) at Imperial College London to gather global insights on people’s behaviours in response to COVID-19, with the data being freely available for public health researchers.

A new survey, designed in partnership with the IGHI, will run in 29 countries across the globe collecting around 30,000 responses every week. Designed to provide behavioural analysis on how different populations are responding to the pandemic, the research will help public health bodies across the world in their efforts to limit the impact of the disease.

Questions cover testing, symptoms, self-isolation in response to symptoms and the ability and willingness to self-isolate if needed. The survey will also look at behaviours, including going outdoors, working outside the home, and contact with others, hand washing and the extent of compliance with 20 common preventative measures.

IGHI has also built a publicly available dashboard to visualise the data at

The survey is currently live in thirteen countries including many currently at the forefront of the battle to combat COVID-19: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.

Phase two of the research will begin this week and run in: Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UAE and Vietnam.

The anonymised respondent level data from all 29 nations is being made freely available to all public health and academic institutions globally to aid in the fight against COVID-19. It can be downloaded from Github here

“The knowledge offered by this resource will be immensely useful to countries across the globe as they plan their ongoing strategies to tackle this devastating pandemic,” says Dr David Nabarro, WHO special envoy for coronavirus and /IGHI co-director. “It’s imperative that government actions to manage this crisis are driven by evidence, and insights gathered by data such as these will be critical in furthering our understanding of how the outbreak - and populations’ responses - are evolving over time.”

Melanie Leis, Director of IGHI’s Big Data and Analytical Unit said the data will help to reveal wider changes across populations. “The richness of these data will offer unparalleled insights into how populations are behaving in response to government measures and, ultimately, should enable a better understanding of the spread of coronavirus,” she says. “By opening up this valuable data asset to all, researchers, health ministers, policy-makers and stakeholders in key public health organisations across the globe can use these insights to guide decision-making and tailor responses to individual countries’ needs.”

“YouGov is in the privileged position of having over a hundred thousand people all over the world share their views and behaviours with us every day, says Stephan Shakespeare, CEO and co-founder of YouGov. “With COVID-19 taking hold across the globe it is only right that we put this privilege to positive use.

“By working with experts at Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation to collect behavioural data from across the globe we can help them – and others like them – better understand how people across the world are responding to COVID-19.

“To help public health agencies’ response to the crisis across the globe we are providing them with data focusing on civic compliance free of charge. We hope that by helping those leading the charge against this disease in this way will make a difference.”

Image: Getty

The data is freely available for health researchers to download from Github here

IGHI has also built a publicly available dashboard to visualise the data at