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The conference was organized in sections. Each section was chaired and curated by one or two partners of the COVID-19 PHSM network. Sections made use of the following various presentation formats: 


WSWorkshopGuided and moderated policy forum that allows for active participation and in-depth discussion of  a particular  idea/question/challenge. 
PPPaper presentation PanelPresentation of research papers. These can be already published works or working papers. Scholars wishing to participate in these panels will also need to volunteer as a discussant for other papers.
YSYoung Scholar Paper presentation PanelSame format as paper panels. This format allows students and early career scholars to present their works and receieve feedback from senior scholars. 
RTRound TableModerated forum that invites experts and speakers to discuss and exchange ideas in a public panel. 
LTLightning talksOpportunity for participants to  hold a 5-minute talk about a topical question which serves as a starting point for an open unmoderated discussion among interested people.
Presentation Formats


Section 1: Plenary Session for PHSM Trackers (CoronaNet & Response2covid19)

The plenary session of PHSM trackers provided insights into data collection, data management and data sharing. It allowed policy makers and scholars to interact with trackers and discuss ways to improve the data quality and to exchange thoughts on further collaboration. 

FormatRT.  PHSM trackers that wished to present and discussed their work here could applied and was asked to hold a 5–15-minute presentation about their tracker’s methodology. Policy makers, scholars, and media interacted with PHSMs trackers in a round table format.  There was one session every day (3 in total).

Section 2: Comparative Political Economy & International Political Economy (CoronaNet & OxCGRT)

This section aimed to bring together IPE scholars that analyze COVID19 PHSM data in the realm of international interaction of states, organizations, and other entities. The section explored :

  1. Federal/unitary systems: government decision-making, variation and cooperation.
  2. Democracy, party politics, leadership and decision-making.
  3. Authoritarian systems and emergency management.
  4. Economic structures (e.g. varieties of capitalism) and COVID-19 policy responses.

FormatPP, YS, RT

Section 3: Simulation & Statistical Indices (CoronaNet)

This section brought together simulation models that incorporate PHSM data outside of infectious disease modelling approaches. The section focused on the prediction and comparison of countries´ policies, and outcomes of the pandemic. Relevant topics of interest included research on building and constructing indices that describe the activity and stringency of countries’ activity over the course of the pandemic. The section´s focus was to invite papers that combine different PHSM datasets in a highly sophisticated manner.

FormatPP, YS, RT

Section 4) Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Modeling (JHU HIT-COVID)

This session was open to researchers and scientists that have developed tools to model infectious disease dynamics, including statistical, mathematical, and ensemble approaches. This section focused on how PHSM data is used as input in infectious disease modeling, such as forecasts, inferential models, and scenario projections. We discussed the specificities of how PHSM data needs to be collected, aggregated, and coded to make useful contributions to infectious disease models. Additionally, this section covered how to best estimate the effect of PHSM on COVID-19 transmission, outcomes (e.g., morbidity and mortality), and prevention. This section brought together epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and other public health researchers studying the impact of PHSM on COVID-19 (and other infectious diseases).


  • Paper presentation Panel
  • Young Scholar Paper presentation Panel
  • Round Table
  • Lightning talks

Section 5: Direct Feeds: How can Public Authorities automate/publish their policies as Open Data and feed trackers/mapping directly?  (Project Lockdown)

Scope: How can Public Authorities (PAs) automate/publish their policies as Open Data and feed trackers/mapping directly? This session explored:

  • How would PAs proceed to publish policies in Open Data formats?
  • What are the standards out there and where are they used?
  • How to ensure interoperability?

Format: WS

Section 6: Observing COVID-19 policies from a rights perspective. Which policies matter? (Project Lockdown)

Scope: How can the policies enacted affect people’s rights (Human + Digital)? Which are the policies that should be monitored? The session presented:

  • A list of proposed documents and treaties to serve as reference for Rights
  • The methodology used in Project Lockdown
  • Exchange about how to improve the methodology moving forward


Section 7: Economic impact of COVID19 responses (Response2covid19 / Oxford Supertracker)

This session focused 1) on the impact of NPIs and economic responses to COVID-19 on economic outcomes such as consumption, income, well-being and equity, and 2) issues around the costs vs. efficacy effects of NPIs on both economic and public health outcomes. This section brought together economists, management scholars and public health researchers studying the PHSM impact of COVID-19. 

This section brought together quantitative papers with a causal approach. The section´s focus was the quantitative evaluation of the impact of PHSMs and economic responses to COVID-19 on different economic outcomes such as income, well-being or equity. Management and finance scholars were welcome to present papers related to the impact of lockdowns on financial performance or measures of stock uncertainty. Empirical papers comparing the relative costs and efficacy effects of NPIs were also welcome. The session focused on economic questions related to COVID-19. The section´s focus was to invite papers using different PHSM datasets and following different approaches.

Format: PP, YS

Section 8: COVID-19 policies, enforcement and compliance behaviour (OxCGRT)

Containing COVID-19 –an unprecedented global health crisis– requires significant behaviour change and generates considerable psychological burdens on individuals. A better understanding of compliance behaviour could help align policies with disease-spread outcomes. Equally important, governance during the pandemic must rely on some combination of enforcement and voluntary compliance. While enforcement may secure higher compliance in some contexts, it may risk crowding out voluntary motivation in others.

As the pandemic evolves, vaccines are being distributed and new COVID-19 virus variants are appearing. New combinations of policy measures are coming into effect in response, and so researchers have to update understanding of how government policies, messages and enforcement measures affect people’s thoughts and actions over time; what evidence policymakers choose to follow, and how they reconcile tensions between science and their political preference. This session encouraged the submission of abstracts with topics broadly relevant to the enforcement of COVID-19 policies, compliance behaviours in the population and their interrelations. In particular, we invited paper submission from one of the following strands: 

1.    Social and cultural determinants of risk perception and compliance;

2.    Science communication, reception and individual health behaviour;

3.    Vaccine attitude, taking-up and post-vaccination behaviour change; 

4.    Leadership and the use of scientific evidence in decision making;

5.    Stress, policy fatigue, and coping;

6.    Enforcement, moral decision, political and social trust; 

Format: PP, YS

Section 9: Learning from global experiences: Uses of trackers by policymakers and evidence-to-policy organizations (INGSA/UK International Public Policy Observatory/OxGRCT)?

This session brought together policymakers and representatives of organizations that support the links between evidence collection and production and governmental decision-making to tell us how tracker data was used in decision making during the covid-19 crisis.

Participants: Trackers (OxGRCT/INGSA) introduced and facilitated this session. Speakers/participants  was from governments or organizations as described above. 

Format: WS

Section 10: Labour market and social policy responses to the pandemic (Oxford Supertracker)

Welfare states have been facing a litmus test during the pandemic. Far reaching social policies were implemented to safeguard jobs, avoid social hardship, and limit inequalities. Policy-makers responded at unprecedented speed and scale, though measures varied across welfare states. 

This section discussed policy responses to mitigate the employment and social impact of the pandemic. Policy areas covered by this stream include labour market and social policies across all areas of the welfare state. Both comparative and causal approaches were welcome.
Format: PP, YS

The conference program and recorded sections are available here