Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Launches Interactive COVID Behaviors Dashboard

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Susan Krenn
Executive Director
Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs has launched an interactive COVID Behaviors Dashboard, a new tool that captures information on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors around vaccines, masking, testing and more from 12 million people in 115 countries.

The COVID Behaviors Dashboard visualizes data from the COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS) launched by Facebook with the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland Social Data Science Center and is intended to be used by policy makers, health officials and practitioners at national and subnational levels to better understand the behavioral drivers behind vaccine uptake, masking and physical distancing among other behaviors that affect the spread of COVID-19.

Researchers and social and behavior change communication experts at Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in collaboration with WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network wrote insights and analyses on how to use the data on the Dashboard.

Launched in May 20 2021, data from the survey, which is ongoing, are collected daily while the dashboard is updated every two weeks.

The Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland Social Data Science Center, which administer the survey in the United States and in other countries respectively, collect the survey data from a random sample of Facebook users from more than 200 countries which the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) analyses.

Marla Shaivitz, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP)’s director of digital strategy says “The dashboard can be used as a roadmap for policymakers to identify…how COVID behaviors are changing and what they can do to intervene.”

Giving example of how the data can have real-world applications concerning the issue of vaccine hesitancy, the survey finds that more than half of those who are unvaccinated in more than 50 countries indicated in August 2021 that they definitely or probably won’t get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID Behaviors Dashboard unpacks the survey data to help explain a number of phenomenon, for example fears about side effects, a desire to wait until more people have had the shots so they know they are safe, and/or a lack of confidence in whether the vaccine really works – and to guide experts as they work to increase acceptance rates.

Each underlying perception requires a different messaging response, such as by educating the public about vaccine science and side effects or by engaging with citizens to address their low-risk perception. In short, the data and accompanying analyses can help decision-makers take informed steps to address vaccine hesitancy, among other pandemic-related issues, in their particular context.

The Dashboard can be assessed by visiting https://covidbehaviors.org/.