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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.

Abt Insights: CDC COVID-19 Research Studies
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention needs research data to inform its COVID-19 response. CDC contracted with Abt Associates to provide research studies and data about key population groups: healthcare personnel, first responders, and essential workers; pregnant women and infants; individuals 50 years and older; older adults in continuing care retirement communities; and households. The data will inform public health policies and guidance to public health officials, healthcare providers, communities, businesses, and schools. Read more

The Impact of COVID-19 on Youth Mental Health: An Interview with Leigh Fischer
Emerging research suggests the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the mental wellbeing of young people. Abt Senior Associate Leigh Fischer, MPH, who focuses on behavioral health research and policy with an emphasis on youth, discusses in this interview the potential rise in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, mental illness, and substance use—and what providers and communities are doing about it. Read more

Keeping America Fed: Food Security and Nutrition Post-COVID
In the third and final episode of the Keeping America Fed podcast, Abt’s Maria Boyle talks to Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute, about the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on consumer practices, food security, and nutrition in the United States. The two discuss how we can seize this moment to expand school lunch programs, bolster food security for families, and use data and analysis to determine a way forward to better nutrition for everyone beyond the corona virus. Read more

Keeping America Fed: COVID-19 and National Food Security
Food security is a daily challenge for millions of Americans, but the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a myriad of issues for those same people and the stakeholders who work with them. In this episode of the Keeping America Fed podcast series, Geri Hench, director of Nutrition Policy at the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), and Abt Senior Associates Maria Boyle talk about the successes and shortcoming of national programs, and the data that can help us close the gaps. Read more

Handwashing fights COVID-19 in Bangladesh
Proper handwashing is a powerful way to reduce COVID-19 transmission. The USAID-funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Nutrition Activity installed 55 temporary handwashing stations in easily accessible locations and included posters showing handwashing procedures. Since installation, an average of 1,000 people wash their hands at each station on a market-day and 650 on a non-market day. Read more

Four Strategies to Improve Mental Health During COVID-19
COVID-19 is hitting younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers particularly hard, with disproportionately worse mental health outcomes and increases in substance use and suicidal thoughts. A study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report argued that community-level interventions need to target the hardest hit groups. Lisanne Brown discusses four community-level activities key stakeholders should consider. Read more

Involving Private Providers in the COVID-19 Response in Senegal
A concerted public and private sector approach is critical for the success of Senegal’s national response to the unprecedented COVID-18 pandemic. USAID’s Abt-led SHOPS Plus is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and local stakeholders. By mobilizing new and existing resources, communication channels, and relationships with private providers, we’re ensuring the involvement of the private sector, which will be vital to providing sustainable solutions. Read more

U.S. Food Insecurity in the Pandemic
Roughly 1 in 10 households in 2018 and 2019 experienced food insecurity while 1 in 5 households have between the end of March and early April 2020. In this new white paper by Abt’s Jillian Ouellette & Maria Boyle highlights key programs in the food assistance framework and notes the need for more research on how food assistance can stimulate the economy. Read more

Predicting the Future: COVID-19 and Contraceptive Supplies
Machine learning also can help us make predictions for outcomes over time for individuals. But can it make predictions of outcomes for groups of people? We have been exploring such applications of machine learning through two very different use cases: COVID outbreaks in U.S. nursing homes and contraceptive stock levels in Cote d’Ivoire. And the predictive accuracy is promising. Read more

SBCC Digital Strategies in the Age of Social Distancing … and Beyond
The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges for conducting social and behavior change communication (SBCC) campaigns. Some programmers are working on campaigns around coronavirus itself. Others are trying to continue the behavior change work from before the pandemic. Abt Associates recently hosted a webinar to hear about SBCC campaigns and strategies that have harnessed the power of digital platforms to meet the new challenges. Read more

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Read more about Abt’s COVID-19 coverage:

White Papers & Reports

  • 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)


  • 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)


  • 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

  • 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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