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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.

Pandemic Response: Keeping the Data Flowing via Virtual Call Centers
To maintain the health and safety of our telephone interviewer workforce while addressing the critical need to continue collecting data during COVID-19, Abt has moved to a “virtual call center” environment. Learn how we made the transition from brick and mortar, and why this isn’t just a short-term pandemic response but an ongoing approach to delivering rigorous, science-based survey data for clients. Read more

Gender and COVID-19: Could coronavirus undo progress on Australia’s gains in ending violence against women and girls?
DFAT has the chance to ensure that the gains it’s made in responding to the needs of women and girls facing violence aren’t lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Steps DFAT can take include: Increasing long-term violence funding to violence response services and women’s rights organisations; ensuring partners include violence response plans in health sector response planning; and taking prevention and response measures across emergency sectors seriously. Read more

Using Telehealth to Serve Medicaid Beneficiaries with Complex Health Needs
In this COVID-19 issue brief, Abt’s experts discuss how telehealth can increase access to quality health care for Medicaid beneficiaries. While some regulations have been eased to help facilitate the adoption of telehealth technology, barriers remain. This brief presents several recommendations that agencies and state Medicaid offices can consider to improve care for individuals with complex health needs. Read more. Read more

Education in a Pandemic: Five Messages That Australia’s Aid Program Could Consider Now
When developing policy for school closings in the developing world, DFAT should consider that closed schools: deny students food and safety as well as learning; put girls at greater risk for sexual abuse; deny teachers income and the use of schools as community hubs; slow the potential for innovation and technology-based education delivery; and hamper parents’ ability to work, aggravating their financial plight. Read more

Abt Helps Senegal Map Solutions to COVID-19
Through the management of USAID's Health Systems Strengthening Plus project, Abt is helping Senegal combat COVID-19 by supporting the use of GIS health mapping. This approach is guiding the country's primary response to the novel coronavirus, but it also can serve as a sustainable solution for the country's broader epidemiological surveillance in the future. Read more

Coronavirus: The End of Sexist Economics?
COVID-19 imposes a triple burden on women: paid work, unpaid care work, and meeting their children’s educational needs. They work in lower paying jobs and have temporary jobs that render them vulnerable under austerity. Making matters worse, the fiscal austerity expected to follow today’s stimulative spending is likely to fall most heavily on women. It’s imperative that policy makers adopt policies that don’t perpetuate sexist economics. Read more


Responding to COVID-19: U.S., International, and What’s Next
Data collection. Analysis. Communication. Collaboration. As the coronavirus response continues to unfold, what’s working in the U.S. and around the world, and what’s next? From Abt’s work bolstering supply chains overseas to mending the primary care safety net in the U.S., health experts Ann Loeffler and Bob Fryatt compare notes and look ahead in this episode of The Intersect podcast. Read more

Evidence to Support Emergency Remote Teaching in Higher Ed
Synchronous and asynchronous classes. Threads. Blogs. These technology options are now part of many lesson plans created in response to COVID-19. But even after moving to emergency remote teaching, many college instructors are still asking for clear guidance on what works to support distance learning for their students. Abt’s Sarah Costelloe, Ph.D., moderated a webinar bringing together technical experts who developed evidence-based recommendations for distance learning. Read more

Unpacking a Complicated Problem: Safely Changing Jails and Prisons during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The debate over how to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails has produced two camps: early release for some inmates, which raises public safety fears, or current release practices with new in-prison health precautions, which raises public health fears. Both are oversimplifications. What’s needed are local deliberations to determine whether a community can absorb released prisoners or whether a detention center can protect inmates’ and staff’s health. Read more

Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers Would Strengthen the Safety Net
“It’s time to mend the housing safety net,” says Abt’s Jill Khadduri. The COVID-19 crisis threatens the millions of American families for whom a missed paycheck forces a decision between paying rent and buying food. Khadduri shines a light on COVID-19’s effect on the housing affordability crisis—emphasizing the importance of expanding the existing Housing Voucher Program—in this op-ed for Shelterforce. Read more

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Read more about Abt’s COVID-19 coverage:

White Papers & Reports

  • 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 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 and the Future of Telehealth (link)
  • Flu. Coronavirus. Data. Could Analytics Change the Trajectory of a Pandemic? (link)

Projects, Feature Stories & News

  • 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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