Link Search Menu Expand Document
Covid-19 program data toolbox

2.1 Thematic resources


2.1.1 Data around Covid-19

  • EN: The Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs developed a Covid-19 Data Hub (updated regularly).
  • EN: MSF created a dashboard (updated almost daily) providing an epidemiological overview of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • EN: Carto, Enigma and Azavea initiated, among other projects, the Corona Data Scraper that pulls population data along with Covid-19 cases data, for more information, refer to this article (April 17, 2020) Updates on new location data are available here (article May 20, 2020).
  • FR: Biorigami cite plusieurs sources de visualisation de données par fonctionnalité (article du 29 février 2020).
  • EN: UN-SPIDER is compiling dashboards, maps etc. related to COVID-19 (updated regularly).
  • EN: Compilation of resources for OCHA IMOs that can be useful for other IMOs (updated regularly).
  • EN: Harvard Dataverse repository specific for Covid-19 datasets.
  • EN: This article from Cooper/Smith gives you tips on using national datasets for African countries to help for the Covid-19 digital response (article April 17, 2020).
  • EN: The GovLab released a portal with project undertaken for Covid-19 data.

2.1.2 Data collection

Remote data collection overview

  • EN-FR: CartONG has written a briefing note for NGOs needing to adapt their data collection activities (monitoring and evaluation as well as accountability) (Version 1 dated April 7, 2020) - French version available here.
  • EN-FR: CartONG has released a tutorial : guidance documentation on checklists for mobile data collection and designing forms with data quality in mind - French version available here.
  • EN: Group URD and CartONG worked together on a review of digital remote systems that are available to aid organizations and that should be considered in contexts where travel and physical contact is reduced.
  • EN-FR: Through this case study, Groupe URD – in charge of the MEAL component in the RESILAC project – share their experience, the opportunities and hurdles they came across during this process and their recommendations for others to implement the Feedback Day method - French version available here.
  • EN: Humanitarian Advisory Group released a guidance note for remote monitoring in times of Covid-19 (publication May 2020).
  • EN: USAID released a small guide for remote data collection (publication May 2020).
  • EN: Humanitarian data solutions’ blog post on adapting your M&E (article March 26, 2020).
  • EN: 60decibel’s toolkit for conducting remote surveys (publication March 2020).
  • EN: CartONG released a comparative analysis of remote data collection tools for call-based surveys (publication, September 2020).
  • EN: GPPI toolkit on the use of technologies for monitoring in insecure environments can be helpful to adapt data collection in the remote context (publication 2016).
  • EN: This crowdsourced document gives tips and success stories of online surveys and other social research tool as an adaptation to doing fieldwork during a pandemic (publication April 2020).
  • EN-FR: CartONG published findings from a workshop with Civil Society Organisations regarding the consequences of physical distancing on their data practices - available soon in French (article, September 2020). French version available here.
  • EN-FR: CartONG and Translators without Borders shared 20+ language tips for effective humanitarian data collection - available soon in French (article, September 2020). French version available here.
  • EN: use of GBVIMS and/or Primero/GBVIMS+ for Case Management, in COVID-19 pandemic (April 11, 2020).
  • EN: Tana Copenhagen’s lessons learned on remote working and data collection (publication April 6, 2020).
  • EN: BetterEvaluation tips on using technologies for monitoring and evaluation in insecure settings can be adapted to the Covid-19 crisis (article 2017).
  • EN: J-PAL’s considerations for collecting online signatures (article June 30, 2020).
  • EN: Watch again the webinar on getting digital communication right in the Covid-19 response by Principles for Digital Development (webinar, September 2020).

Data collection by phone

  • EN: Best practices from the JPAL’s blog post for conducting phone surveys as well as lessons from existing evidences (March 20, 2020 - updated April 10, 2020) They also compiled resources on transitioning to CATI surveys (July 2, 2020).
  • EN: Tips from 3ie to keep in mind for phone surveys (article April 9, 2020).
  • EN: These blog posts from the World Bank cover material for a Covid-19 impact survey using mobile phones : part I and part II and practical tips (article April 7, 2020 - updated April 20, 2020).
  • EN: The UN statistics division released an interview with a survey methodology expert regarding telephone interview for household surveys (article May 15, 2020).
  • EN-FR: Humanity & Inclusion (HI) and Terre des hommes (Tdh), share, in a case study, their experiences with call-based surveys in Jordan, the opportunities and hurdles they came across during this process and their recommendations for future call based surveys - French version available here.
  • EN: ACAPS & IOM have shared their experiences, in a case study, with Rohingya refugees as researchers in Cox’s Bazar, the opportunities and hurdles they came across during this process and their recommendations for future surveys using this particular data collection approach.

Data collection by SMS & IVR

  • EN: Blogpost from FrontlineSMS on the role of text messaging in covid 19 management (article April 24, 2020).
  • EN: Requesting consent(article May 20, 2020) with SurveyCTO can be done using field plug-ins or bulk SMS services (article May 20, 2020).
  • EN: RapidAPI released a benchmark of 8 best APIs for sending text messages (article June 15, 2020).
  • EN: Breakthrough (action + research) released a technical brief for using SMS- and IVR-based surveys during Covid-19 (publication, April 2020) Other resources are available here.

Data collection by phone messaging app

  • EN: Key considerations and practical steps involved in qualitative WhatsApp surveying: lesson learned on polling refugees in Lebanon.

Data from Mobile Network Operator

  • EN: DIAL compiled its resources for Covid-19 response, explaining the use of its online tool for aggregator (publication March 17, 2020) DIAL explained why choose MNO data (Mobile Network Operator) for Covid-19 response (article April 28, 2020) They also explain why unlock MNO data can enhance public and humanitarian services (publication February 2018).

Crowdsourced data

  • EN: Blogpost from Ushahidi on key questions you should consider when planning a crowdsourced response to COVID-19 (article April 7, 2020).

Standard forms

  • EN: The COVID-19 Door-to-Door Needs Assessment form and associated XLSForm customised for slums and informal settlements.
  • EN: The rapid assessment tool from the IFRC and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF and WHO (publication February 27, 2020).
  • EN: ActivityInfo platform released form templates for data collection for Covid-19 (article April 9, 2020).

Tools and organisation offering free or discounted services

  • EN: ODK forum’s help for data collection (article March 12, 2020).
  • EN: EngageSpark is offering significant discounts for campaigns related to COVID-19 (article March 11, 2020) and shared tips on mobile data collection for SMS and IVR surveys (article April 30, 2020).
  • FR: SurveyMonkey a dédié cette page pour les ressources (modèles, données, réductions) liées au Covid-19.

2.1.3 Data visualization and analysis (including mapping)


  • EN: OCHA center for humdata released a guide on data visualization, with example from the Covid-19 pandemic (May 28, 2020).
  • EN: Fast Company guide to create informative rather than terrifying Covid-19 charts (article March 17, 2020).
  • EN: 10 considerations before creating Covid-19 charts (article March 11, 2020).
  • EN: This World Bank blog post recommends us to take a step back on all the charts around Covid-19 (article April 20, 2020).
  • EN: This article from H. Kennedy raises the effect of too much graphs, charts and maps on our perception of the Covid-19 pandemic (article May 4, 2020).


  • EN: OCHA’s humanitarian icons adapted to Covid-19 are available for download (article April 6, 2020).

Mapping resources

  • EN: Esri GIS resources for data, models and applications ready to use.
  • EN-FR: CartONG and Mapaction shared 10 tips to produce simple, informative and coherent maps during a pandemic (article, September 2020). French version available here.
  • FR: Exemples de cartes produites via l’outil uMap.
  • EN: Don’t forget that is building an open data commons of health facility data with OpenStreetMap and is the platform to consider for update or upload of health facility data in Covid-19 preparedness and response plan.


  • EN-FR: Power Bi toolkit to create a report (article March 31, 2020). French version available here.

Statistical tools

  • EN: This webinar on Humanitarian data analysis with R shows you how R versatility can help you quickly create lifesaving information in emergencies (May 14, 2020).

Tools and organisation offering free or dicounted services

2.1.4 Focus on impact evaluations

  • EN: World Bank economists asked about whether holding or folding field research projects (article April 1, 2020).
  • EN: This post on reducing attrition in phone survey from the World Bank (article November, 2019).
  • EN: World Bank economists wrote about adapting IE for researchers in the field in this following post part 1.
  • EN: Study paper on “sampling and gathering survey data in challenging settings” (publication March 2020).
  • EN: World Bank’s guide for mobile phone panel surveys (2016).
  • EN: World Bank’s four questions and decision trees to adapt your evaluation design in times of Covid-19 (article April 22, 2020).
  • EN: BetterEvaluation blog posts (part 1 - manage and part 2 - define) on adapting evaluation during Covid-19 time (article April and May 2020)
  • EN: K. Weitzenegger wrote about evaluation in the Covid-19 pandemic (article May 7, 2020).

2.1.5 Data protection

To go further on this topic, see the Responsible data management toolbox.

  • EN: The IASC Sub-Group on Data Responsibility co-led by the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data, IOM, and UNHCR have developed this FAQ to support organizations and staff around the world working with data in the Covid-19 response (April 2020).
  • EN: WHO Guidelines on Ethical Issues in Public Health Surveillance (publication 2017).
  • EN: Make sure you know the digital rights by checking the article from The Electronic Frontier Foundation (April 2020).
  • EN: GSMA released privacy guidelines when considering requests for access to Mobile Operator Data in response to the spread of COVID-19 (publication April 6, 2020).
  • EN: CartONG has published a checklist that provides some elements of popularization and awareness raising to help in the decision-making process of choosing a new data collection tool through a data protection lens.

Location data

  • EN: The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s blog post on privacy protection when aggregating location data (article April 6, 2020).
  • EN: Does the risks of tracking people through phones outweigh the benefits ? Amy Maxem develops researchers analysis in Nature’s article (article May 2019).
  • EN: ICRC released an article on contact tracing calls for a digital diligence (article May 13, 2020).
  • EN: The MIT page compiles contact tracing apps across the world (regularly updated).
  • EN: Engine Room compiled articles on contact tracing (article May 28, 2020) and they published an article on how civil society is addressing contact tracing apps (article June 8, 2020).

Online conferencing tools

  • EN: As NGOs are shifting to remote working, the ICRC Data Protection Office, the IFRC and Red Crescent Societies, and the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data have developed this tip sheet for online conferencing (publication April 4, 2020).

Messaging aps

  • EN: This comparison allows you to choose safely a secure messaging app (regularly updated).


  • EN: Privacy International is compiling measures of governments, tech companies and international agencies imposed on populations to contain the pandemic (regularly updated).
  • EN: Defensive Lab Agency actively tracks new Android applications that are published in response to Covid-19 and analyses them for security and privacy (regularly updated).
  • EN: Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) released a collection of  new publications and resources  to help governments, educators, researchers, companies, and other organizations navigate essential privacy questions regarding the response to the coronavirus pandemic (regularly updated).
  • EN: Access Now article and recommendations on data protection in the fight against Covid (March 2020) They also released Dos and Don’ts for Covid-19 contact tracing app (article May 4, 2020).
  • EN: AAAS has published an article on Mobile phone data for informing public health actions (publication April 27, 2020).
  • EN: Human Right Watch’s article draw attention on the States use of digital surveillance technologies to fight pandemic (article April 2, 2020).
  • FR: E-trace effectue une veille des questions de protection des données et de la santé dans le cadre de la pandémie (regularly updated).

2.1.6 More general ressources on ICT4D and digital initiatives

  • EN: Practical insights (regularly updated) and success stories (March, 25 2020) from ICTWorks on Covid-19 Digital Response.
  • EN: USAID lessons from Ebola on the use of data, information and technologies (2016).
  • EN: USAID guidance for Programmatic Covid-19 Preparedness and Response: Digital Technologies and Data System (article April 4, 2020).
  • EN: Crowdsourced spreadsheet from the Global Digital Health Network and ICTworks posts on available tools for Covid-19 Response.
  • EN: FrontlineSMS CEO’s short article on digital response, for more information, see this detailed article (March 30, 2020).
  • EN: UN website providing a space for the global statistical community to share guidance, actions, tools and best practices to ensure the operational continuity of data programmes by National Statistical Offices, and to address issues of open and timely access to critical data needed by governments and all sectors of society to respond to the global Covid-19 crisis (regularly updated).
  • EN: DIAL remind the importance of open source tools and technologies for Covid response and the tools and platform created by the Open Source Center (article April 20, 2020).
  • EN: Repository for data collaboratives seeking to address the spread of Covid-19 and its secondary effects as well as data competitions, challenges, and calls for proposals, which can lead to useful tools to combat Covid-19 as part of a call of action from GovLab (regularly updated).
  • EN: Mobile world is keeping track of the latest coronavirus-related developments impacting mobile industries (article regularly updated).
  • EN: UNAIDS launched, along with StartupBlink and Health Innovation Exchange, a Coronavirus innovation map as a directory for solutions to support the Covid-19 response (article April 8, 2020).
  • EN: Technology Salon released a guidance for effective digital response. Related resources are available here (article April 23, 2020).
  • EN: Mika Välitalo is giving tips on using technologies for NGO staff (article April 27, 2020).