About Us

In March 2020, COVID-19 cases were mounting and government restrictions were increasing across the globe to contain the pandemic. A group of clinical and technical experts at Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) identified a gap in our understanding of the pandemic: we did not have consistent, reliable and timely data on how the population was responding to government guidelines and policies. 

To address this gap, IGHI experts partnered with YouGov to launch a survey across 30 countries, areas and territories. Our aim was to understand people’s changing behaviours and attitudes in relation to the pandemic, whether the guidelines would have the intended impact on virus transmission and what the impacts of restrictions might be on society and on individuals.

 

Through partnerships with world-renowned academic and international organisations we have been able to enrich our survey with questions around life satisfaction, trust in government and confidence in health authorities.

This survey, which ran from April 2020 to March 2022 on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, has shed light on the complexity of changing behaviours and attitudes related to the pandemic over time. It has also allowed us to better understand differences across geographies and demographic groups.

 

Survey results are made publicly available through this interactive dashboard and the GitHub data download site, with the aim to enable researchers all across the globe to carry out their own analyses and develop novel findings.

Highlights, insights and understandings of these data have been disseminated through 45+ policy reports from IGHI, 80+ academic publications from IGHI and other researchers, communications from the World Health Organization, research from the International Monetary Fund, and the international press. 

 

Survey topics are wide ranging: they track

  • How attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have changed

  • Reasons why unvaccinated people have not had their COVID-19 vaccines

  • How people’s approval of their government’s handling of the pandemic and their trust in their local health authorities have changed

  • What protective measures (such as wearing a face mask or avoiding crowded spaces) people took up to protect themselves from COVID-19 and which ones people have stopped

  • Life satisfaction, as measured by the team at the World Happiness Report

  • How attitudes such as perceptions of severity and susceptibility to COVID changed over time

 

Data collection has now concluded and will no longer be regularly updated. Throughout the life cycle of the survey some countries could no longer be updated and others have been included since its inception.   Anonymised respondent level data is made available for members of the public, all public health and academic institutions globally at our GitHub site (https://github.com/YouGov-Data/covid-19-tracker) maintained for the benefit of the public by YouGov Plc.

Our aim with this dashboard is to enable individuals, organisations, systems and governments to use the learning and insights gleaned in ongoing efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in future health threats as they arise.

The Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London is led by:

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Professor the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham

Co-Director

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Dr David Nabarro

Co-Director

The Imperial College London - YouGov survey and dashboard are co-led by Institute of Global Health Innovation principals

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Sarah P. Jones

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer Research Postgraduate

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Melanie Leis

Director - Big Data and Analytical Unit (BDAU)

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Dr Roberto Fernandez Crespo

Analytics Fellow, BDAU

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Gianluca Fontana

Operations Director and Senior Policy Fellow

Our research collaboration includes the great minds at:

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Professor John F. Helliwell

Co-editor, World Happiness Report

Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia, Research Associate of the NBER and Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

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Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs

Co-editor, World Happiness Report

Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres

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Dr Lara Aknin

Associate Editor, World Happiness Report

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Dr Haifang Huang

Associate Editor, World Happiness Report

Professor the Lord Richard Layard

Co-editor, World Happiness Report

Founder-Director of the Centre for Economics Performance at the London School of Economics, and co-founder of Action for Happiness

Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

Co-editor, World Happiness Report

University of Oxford, Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre, KSI Fellow and Vice-Principal of Harris Manchester College

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Dr Shun Wang

Associate Editor, World Happiness Report

Contributors to the Imperial College London - YouGov survey also include: Dr. Anna Petherick, The WHO working group on measuring behavioural and social drivers (BeSD) of COVID-19 vaccination, Professor Helen Ward and Dr. Christina J. Atchinson.

The Imperial College London - YouGov team wishes to express their grateful support to Stefan Shakespeare, Marcus Roberts, Alex MacIntosh, Eir Nolsoe, Persephone Tsbelis, Sharon Paculor, Lenny Naar, Alice Blencowe, Chris Curtis, Steve Adams from Visual DJ Ltd. and volunteers from Made by Many: Rebecca Foy, Anna Pagan, Gareth Cozens, Callum Jefferies, Neethu Mathew, Micha Nicheva, Kristof Goossens.

The IGHI team gratefully acknowledges YouGov Plc for its pro bono data donation from April 2020 to October 2020, the kind support of Edelman X Intelligence for their global social listening contribution and the UK Government Cabinet Office for its support for data provision from October 2020 to April 2022.

Question for the research team? Get in touch here Press enquiry? Contact Peter Howitt at p.howitt@imperial.ac.uk.

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