CoronaNet: COVID-19 Government Response Event Dataset

Resource Type
Dataset : event/transaction data, observational data
  • Cheng, Cindy (Hochschule für Politik at the TU Munich)
  • Barceló, Joan (NYU Abu Dhabi)
  • Hartnett, Allison (University of Southern California)
  • Kubinec, Robert (NYU Abu Dhabi)
  • Messerschmidt, Luca (Hochschule für Politik at the TU Munich)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
COVID-19; public policy; health policy; public health; governance
  • Abstract

    The CoronaNet Research Project compiles a database on government responses to the coronavirus. Our main focus is to collect as much information as we can about the various fine-grained actions governments are taking to defeat the coronavirus. This includes not only gathering information about which governments are responding to the coronavirus, but also who they are targeting the policies toward (e.g., other countries), how they are doing it (e.g., travel restrictions, banning exports of masks), and when they are doing it.
    Together with 500 political, social, and public health science scholars from all over the world, we present an initial release of a large hand-coded dataset of more than 20,000 separate policy announcements from governments around the world visible since December 31, 2019. Data collection is ongoing.

    The data yields detailed information on:
    • The level of government responding to the coronavirus crisis (e.g., national, regional/state, local/municipal)
    • Specific actions taken (e.g., travel bans, investments in the public health sector, etc.)
    • Geographical areas targeted by these measures
    • Who or what they are targeting (e.g., foreigners, ventilators)
    • Compliance mechanisms (e.g., mandatory or voluntary)
    • Timing of policy responses.
    Given the exceptional times, we have decided to release a version of the dataset that has not undergone extensive data cleaning. We aim to improve the data day by day but can not assure full accuracy among the policies. For the most up to date version of the data, please visit
  • Technical Information

    Response Rates: The data collection procedure for this manuscript is as follows: (1) The PIs designed a Qualtrics survey with survey questions about different aspects of a government policy action to streamline the CoronaNet data collection effort across different research assistants who collect the data. The questions included in the Qualtrics survey was based in large part on policies the PIs coded with regards to policies adopted by the Taiwanese government from December 31, 2019 to March 21, 2020 as well as travel policies adopted by a cross-section of countries in mid-March, 2020. (2) Research assistants (RAs) watch a 2 hour training video for how to use the Qualtrics survey to document policies (3) RAs document the policies they find in the Qualtrics survey. Each RA is responsible for tracking government policy actions for at least one country. RAs were allocated depending on their background, language skills and expressed interest in certain countries. At the time of the initial deposit to ICPSR, there were more than 500 RAs collecting data on government policies made in reaction to COVID-19. (4) RAs are organized by regions, or if they are collecting subnational data, by countries. Regional and country managers oversee the quality and progress of the data collection effort. (5) Questions and mutual feedback between RAs, reigional and country managers and the PIs of this project are answered via a Slack channel set up for that purpose. All RAs are required to join the Slack channel before joining the data collection effort.
Geographic Coverage
  • World-wide coverage
Sampled Universe
This data repository aims to collect all government policies made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic across all countries since December 31, 2019, when the government of China first reported the outbreak in Wuhan to the WHO. Data collection is ongoing. . Smallest Geographic Unit: The geographic unit of analysis ranges from country, province, municipalities as well as other geographical units.
Multiple Coding Validation

As we collect the data, we also engage in post-data validation checks.

Before validation, we use a team of RAs to check the raw data for logical inconsistencies and typographical errors. In our latest data release, we have cleaned all observations until April 1st.

We randomly sample 10% of the dataset using the source of the data (e.g. newspaper article, government press release) as our unit of randomization. We use the source as our unit of randomization because one source may detail many different policy types. We then provide this source to a fully independent RA and ask her to code for the government policy contained in the sampled source in a separate, but identical, survey instrument. If the source is in a language the RA cannot read, then a new source is drawn. The RA then codes all policies in the given source. This practice is repeated a third time by a third independent coder. Given the fact that each source in the sample is coded three times, we can assess the reliability of our measures and report the reliability score of each coder.

For more information on the results of these validation checks, please see:
Collection Mode
  • web scraping; web-based survey;

  • Is version of
    DOI: 10.3886/E120342
  • Cheng, Cindy, Joan Barceló, Allison Spencer Hartnett, Robert Kubinec, and Luca Messerschmidt. “COVID-19 Government Response Event Dataset (CoronaNet v.1.0).” Nature Human Behaviour 4, no. 7 (July 2020): 756–68.
    • ID: 10.1038/s41562-020-0909-7 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2020-07-25 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-07-25