social distancing


Around the world, governments have taken unprecedented measures to fight COVID-19. Efforts to evaluate such measures have not yet consistently looked at the governance and accountability of the response ─ e.g. who are the people, groups, and institutions making decisions? Through which mechanism(s) and in which space(s)? Based on which information? These aspects are crucial for ensuring acceptable, appropriate, and sustainable responses.

The issue is of particular importance in countries whose COVID-19 context is marked by:

  • economic, political, and social realities very different from the countries with an early experience of COVID-19 (e.g. fragile political settlements, informal economies, many vulnerable groups), but also by
  • experiences in managing other deadly epidemics (e.g. Ebola, HIV/AIDS) that can be of interest to all.

Using a unique network of in-country expertise in health systems and governance via core partners and communities of practice, we seek to produce an interactive public dataset that explores:

  • the socio-political environment (e.g. state of emergency);
  • the actors/institutions involved; and
  • the nature of the measures.


The COVID-19 governance project is a joint project between researchers based at The University of Edinburgh, AMREF International University, the Somali Institute of Development Research and Analysis, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Kinshasa, the National Institute of Public Health in Burundi, the University of Sidney, and UC Louvain.

The project has been made possible by funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund – Scottish Funding Council.

Project lead

Jean-Benoît Falisse, The University of Edinburgh

Co- and Key investigators

Boel McAteer (Edinburgh), Julien Moriceau (Louvain), Léonard Ntakarutimana (NIPH Burundi), Paulin Mutombo (Kinshasa), Jo Vearey (Wits), Dona Anyona (AMREF), Joachim Osur (AMREF), Marion Mutugi (AMREF), Amina Jama Mahmud (SIDRA), Julien Moriceau (Louvain), and Seye Abimbola (Sidney)