COVID Behaviors Dashboard by Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Communication is critical during a public health emergency like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But misinformation and rumors about COVID-19 and COVID vaccines, undermine efforts to keep people healthy. The COVID Behaviors Dashboards utilized interactive visualizations to articulate the value of individual-level data that informed policy and programmatic implementation around the world.

In this effort to support strategic communication, the COVID Behaviors Dashboard visualizes data from the world’s largest daily survey of COVID knowledge, attitudes and practices, the COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey (CTIS). This serial cross-sectional, internet-based survey was distributed through Facebook from May 2021 through June 25, 2022, capturing 35 million+ responses from more than 200 countries related to knowledge, attitudes and practices around COVID-19 and vaccine acceptance. To date, data utilization efforts through the COVID Behaviors Dashboard of the world’s largest COVID related survey has been accessed by public health officials, media outlets, and researchers to inform policies and drive programmatic decisions.

Visualizing behavioral data is challenging, as context is crucial to ensuring that the user understands the data and can apply it to their decisions appropriately. In addition to stunning, attractive visuals that load quickly in low-bandwidth situations, the overarching goal of the visual is to contextualize data from the survey for policy makers, WHO officials and public health communication practitioners around the world to inform campaign development and advocacy efforts.

How is contextualization on behavior change built into data visualization? A question-and-answer format is used to prime the visitor before viewing the visualization of the data. When the user reaches the data, visualized by geography, data collection period and demographic group, they are ready to interact with questions such as: What are the reported structural barriers to vaccination for a country, by demographic group? In this visual, visitors see, by respondent’s vaccination status, what barriers were faced in the process of acquiring a vaccine. For policy makers and communication practitioners, this is actionable information to remedy or to create messaging around.

Although many high-income countries benefit from surveys fielded by public and private institutions, low- and middle-income countries often do not have systems that monitor national level prevention behaviors. The COVID Behaviors Dashboard not only presents data from the survey but provides insights from behavioral experts into how to interpret the data. Features such as country reports in PDF and downloadable graphics make it easy for end users to incorporate into their own presentations.

Through the COVID Behaviors Dashboard, CTIS data was accessed more than 50,000 times by 33,356 users from 199 countries. The data were presented in global webinars where participants represented ministries of health, universities, international non-governmental and grassroots organizations as well in dozens of direct engagements which included organizations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, WHO and the European CDC. 

*Note: Due to increasing vaccination rates over time, sample size decreased. Therefore there is an insufficient amount of data from the survey to visualize. More information can be found in the Methodology section.