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COVID-19 Insights

As COVID-19 spreads rapidly around the globe, accurate and insightful information is at a premium. This COVID-19-related library provides information and resources developed by our experts to address this continually evolving public health situation across many facets: infectious disease research, data science operations, communications, and a range of additional areas.

Keeping America Fed: The Federal Response to COVID-19 and Food Assistance and the Role of Research
The economic challenges accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic compound a pre-existing food insecurity crisis in the U.S. The pandemic reversed the trend of declining U.S. food insecurity rates in recent years, which now have reached unprecedented levels and widened racial disparities in who is more likely to be food insecure. This paper described the five main U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition assistance programs and their COVID-19 pandemic adjustments. The paper concludes with themes for research that could have implications for programs in the future. Read more

Abt & Dimagi to Boost Vaccination Efforts
Abt Associates and the technology social enterprise Dimagi are teaming up to work with community-based organizations (CBOs) to encourage underserved populations to get COVID-19 vaccinations. The Abt-Dimagi team is piloting its approach with CBOs involved in sickle cell disease. The team will provide CBOs a package with information about the COVID-19 vaccination program, a digital tool to track and manage client interactions and communications, access to a digital case management system, and analytics that CBOs can use to monitor the reach and effectiveness of the vaccine communication program. Read more

Data Collection on COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness for CDC Required Quick Pivot
Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm, played a key—and rapidly evolving--role in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) March 29 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which showed COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective under real world conditions. When vaccines unexpectedly were developed, Abt pivoted from its original CDC contract goals to track infections and led a rapid, behind-the-scenes effort to gear up a massive data collection platform to determine COVID-19 vaccines effectiveness. Read more

Local Health Businesses Are Creating More Resilient Health Systems, But They Need More Private Capital
Locally led, private health businesses are leveraging innovative digital technologies to get health products, services, and information to patients. As countries respond to COVID-19, these businesses are essential partners in building more resilient, sustainable health systems. Learn how Abt Associates, through the USAID Local Health System Sustainability project, is helping five local health businesses to scale-up their innovations across health markets in Africa and Asia. Read more

Helping Provide COVID-19 Vaccination to People Experiencing Homelessness
For more than 10 years, Abt’s technical assistance (TA) team has supported the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) work with local stakeholders to reduce and end homelessness. When COVID hit, part of the team’s work shifted to helping 30 cities and counties around the country manage $4 billion in funding via the CARES Act. Learn how Abt is helping ensure that people experiencing homelessness are prioritized for vaccination efforts. Read more

Strengthening Malawi’s Literacy—Even During COVID
USAID’s Abt-led Yesani Ophunzira (YESA) Activity was designed to promote literacy in Malawi during a typical school year, but the program’s teacher training on continuous assessment and remediation has offered extra value during COVID-19. Learn how educators, technical assistance, and technology are empowering parents to help their children read at home as they shelter during the coronavirus. Read more

COVID-19’s Impact on India’s Family Planning Markets
A new assessment from Abt identifies root causes behind supply chain impacts in India due to COVID-19. Our resulting policy brief identifies mitigating actions that governments, donors, and private actors could take to strengthen markets’ responses and prepare for future shocks. The findings have been disseminated through domestic webinars and stakeholder roundtables in India, as well as a global webinar focused on donors and large institutional purchasers of family planning and reproductive health products. Read more

Emergency Rental Assistance Guidance for States
To reduce the risk of evictions, Congress appropriated $25 billion for the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program, which provides assistance with rent and utilities to households that have lost income or experienced other financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), Abt developed a guidance document to help states rapidly set up emergency rental assistance programs to distribute this funding. Read more

Facilitating Successful Harvest Seasons During COVID-19
While many business sectors simply shifted to working virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not an option for smallholder farmers. A Remote Technical Assistance strategy enabled the Feed the Future Egypt Rural Agribusiness Strengthening Project, a USAID-funded activity, to reach its target smallholder farmers for remote training through WhatsApp or SMS. The Project also celebrated milestones and virtual events such as Fennel Harvest Day and a Mango Festival online. Read more

Equity and Catastrophe: How Can Resilience Programs Support Vulnerable Populations?
On a day-to-day basis, vulnerable populations suffer from inequities in health, wealth, and education. These same people are then disproportionately impacted by catastrophes ranging from hurricanes to COVID-19, which only serve to underline the great and urgent need for equity across race, gender, and income. In this episode of The Intersect, Madeline Colety and Lorine Giangola discuss how Abt’s housing and resilience work is helping clients promote equity. Read more

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Read more about Abt’s COVID-19 coverage:

White Papers & Reports

  • Which Nursing Homes Are at Risk of COVID-19? (White Paper)
  • COVID-19: Why We Must Address Long-Term Behavioral Health Needs (White Paper)
  • U.S. Food Insecurity in the Pandemic (White Paper)
  • HIT-COVID, a global database tracking public health interventions to COVID-19 (Article)
  • Public-private Contracting to Support the COVID-19 Response (White Paper)
  • COVID-19’s Impact on Community Supervision (White Paper)
  • Strategies for Contact Tracing COVID-19 (White Paper)
  • The COVID-19 Challenge for Behavioral Health (White Paper)
  • Contact Tracing In Communities of Color: Strategies for the COVID-19 Pandemic (White Paper)
  • Using Telehealth to Serve Medicaid Beneficiaries with Complex Health Needs (White Paper)
  • The Storm after the Calm: The Profound Implications of COVID-19 for U.S. Housing Policy (White Paper)
  • Effective and Innovative Communications Strategies for the COVID-19 Pandemic: How Abt Can Help (White Paper)
  • Conducting Public Policy Research During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experts Weigh In (Report)
  • Health Mission Impact: Pandemic Preparedness & Influenza (2020 Impact Report)


  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Mental Health: An Interview with Leigh Fischer (link)
  • Four Strategies to Improve Mental Health During COVID-19 (link)
  • Predicting the Future: COVID-19 and Contraceptive Supplies (link)
  • SBCC Digital Strategies in the Age of Social Distancing … and Beyond (link)
  • Is America Drinking Its Way Through COVID-19? (link)
  • Asking the Right Questions: “Stay-at-Home” Orders, Survey Data, and COVID-19 (link)
  • But What About Australian Aid in Five Years’ Time? (link)
  • Technical Assistance in the Time of COVID (link)
  • A Needed Partner in the Time of COVID (link)
  • Nursing Homes and Future Pandemics (link)
  • Opioid Use Disorder, COVID-19, and HIV: Q&A with Leigh Mathias (link)
  • 15 Curated COVID-19 Content and Data Hubs (link)
  • Can We Understand COVID-19 Fast Enough – And Well Enough – To Make a Difference? (link)
  • Pandemic Response: Keeping the Data Flowing via Virtual Call Centers (link)
  • Gender and COVID-19: Could coronavirus undo progress on Australia’s gains in ending violence against women and girls? (link)
  • Education in a Pandemic: Five Messages That Australia’s Aid Program Could Consider Now (link)
  • Coronavirus: The End of Sexist Economics? (link)
  • Unpacking a Complicated Problem: Safely Changing Jails and Prisons during the COVID-19 Pandemic (link)
  • The Unanticipated Risks of Sheltering in Place (link)
  • Using Data Science to Analyze 50,000 Articles in Two Weeks (link)
  • Why Public Health Can’t Shelter in Place to Address Stimulant Use (link)
  • Building a Global Community Resilient to COVID and Future Pandemics (link)
  • From Policing to Reentry: The Implications of COVID-19 for the Entire Criminal Justice System (link)
  • COVID-19 is Disrupting Food Waste Programs: What Does this Mean for Methane Emissions? (link)
  • With COVID-19, Understanding the Evidence on Supporting Reentry Employment Is Essential (link)
  • The Worry of Governance: Coronavirus and Emergency Politics (link)
  • Using Flu Research Infrastructure to Understand COVID-19 (link)
  • How Can We Collect Critical Data During the COVID-19 Pandemic? (link)
  • COVID-19 Data Visualizations - Data, Infographics, Dashboards, and Models (link)
  • Lessons We Learned from Previous Pandemics (link)


  • COVID-19. Flu Season. How Are We Responding? (link)
  • Keeping America Fed: Food Security and Nutrition Post-COVID (link)
  • Keeping America Fed: COVID-19 and National Food Security (link)
  • Back to School? COVID-19’s Impacts on Students, Families, and Educators (link)
  • Keeping America Fed: COVID-19 and Local Food Security (link)
  • HIV and COVID: Maintaining Progress During the Pandemic (link)
  • Responding to COVID-19: U.S., International, and What’s Next (link)
  • COVID-19 and the Future of Telehealth (link)
  • Flu. Coronavirus. Data. Could Analytics Change the Trajectory of a Pandemic? (link)

Projects, Feature Stories & News

  • Tracking COVID-19 in High-Risk Workers (Project)
  • Tracking COVID-19 in Pregnant Women and Infants (Project)
  • COVID-19 Study of Hospitalized Older Adults (Project)
  • Study of COVID-19 in Retirement Communities (Project)
  • COVID-19 Study of Households (Project)
  • Potential Health Benefits of Sustained Air Quality Improvements in New York City (News Release)
  • Answering the Call: Helping Field 5,000 COVID-19 Questions a Day in Laos (Feature Story)
  • When a Pandemic is Not the Only Public Health Crisis (In The News)
  • Building Lab Skills in Tajikistan for COVID-19 and Beyond (Feature Story)
  • Abt Insights: CDC COVID-19 Research Studies (Digital Insight)
  • Handwashing fights COVID-19 in Bangladesh (Feature Story)
  • Involving Private Providers in the COVID-19 Response in Senegal (Feature Story)
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Children, Families and ECE Providers (News Release)
  • Voucher Plus Activity Saves Mothers’ Lives During COVID-19 (Feature Story)
  • PFAS, COVID-19, and Immune Response: Connecting the Dots (Bloomberg Law)
  • Supporting Jordan’s Fight Against COVID-19 (Feature Story)
  • COVID Assessment Tracking Tool (link)
  • Abt’s Ask an Expert Video Series (link)
  • USAID’s LHSS Project Supports COVID-19 Efforts in Laos (Feature Story)
  • Abt Helps Senegal Map the COVID-19 Pandemic (Feature Story)
  • Evidence to Support Emergency Remote Teaching in Higher Ed (Feature Story)
  • Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers Would Strengthen the Safety Net (Op-ed)
  • Helping Kids with Complex Needs During a Pandemic (In The News)
  • Infectious Diseases Impact Healthcare Workers (Project)
  • Fighting Malaria in the Age of COVID-19 (Feature Story)
  • Coordinating the COVID-19 Response with Homeless Service Providers (Feature Story)
  • COVID-19: What Abt is Doing (Feature Story)
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