Public Policy Advocacy

Editorials, white papers, briefings and other policy recommendations

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Policy recommendations from OECD. Tackling Coronavirus (COVIDโ€‘19) Contributing to a global effort: What are the impacts and consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic on our lives and our societies โ€“ and what are some of the solutions we can find to boost our healthcare systems, secure our businesses, maintain our jobs and education, and stabilise financial markets and economies?

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Public Policy Advocacy

Links to documents and organisations expressing opinions about what governments should do in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Public policy advocacy recommends specific actions that should be taken by elected officials or other public authorities. Descriptions of an action a government has already taken go in Responses by Country.

For petitions recording public opinion, see:


How to respond to COVID-19

Bill Gates thought leadership on pandemics and recommended response to COVID-19 and future action steps to prepare and prevent the next one.

COVID-19 Response White Papers

Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center at Harvard University has convened a rapid response initiative in response to the COVID-19 threat and published a series of white papers with policy recommendations grounded in economics and constitutional democracy.

COVID-19 Priorities Checklist for State Leaders

Recommendations from non-partisan healthcare nonprofit United States of Care provides a dynamic list of best practices for states fighting COVID-19.

Militaryโ€™s Response to the Coronavirus Crisis: Top 10 Principles

Just Security, a policy forumย based at theย Reiss Center on Law and Securityย at New York University School of Law, advances 10 principles to guide US military response to COVID-19.

Does One Size Fit All? Realistic Alternatives for COVID-19 Response in Low-Income Countries

Think tank Center for Global Development recommends that COVID-10 response in low-income countries should prioritize water and sanitation, protection of existing health services, and conditional cash transfers to incentivize staying at home.

GatesNotes - The first modern pandemic - Bill Gates on the scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19. Published April 23 2020

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

Influential collection of infographics by Silicon Valley growth hacker Tomas Pueyo organized to construct an argument for a strong response to the pandemic. Includes graphic for The Hammer and the Dance. Translated into multiple languages.

Coronavirus and long term policy [UK focus]

What, more precisely, is the โ€œendgame scenarioโ€ for getting out of the Coronavirus situation with minimal deaths? What kind of timeline might we be looking at?

Call for Collaboration

The COVID-19 pandemic: A letter to G20 leaders

20 leading economistsย and global health expertsย write to the leaders of the G20 nations and call for unprecedented cooperation across countries and disciplines.

COVID-19 needs a Manhattan Project

Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in Geneva, Switzerland call for a a coordinated global vaccine development effort using a โ€œbig scienceโ€ approach.

Public-private cooperation for pandemic preparedness and response: A call to action

Advice for governments - The Event 201 pandemic exercise, conducted on October 18, 2019, vividly demonstrated a number of these important gaps in pandemic preparedness as well as some of the elements of the solutions between the public and private sectors that will be needed to fill them. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made these proposals.

Social distancing canโ€™t last forever. Hereโ€™s what should come next.

Explaining the moonshot effort needed to end social distancing, and this pandemic 'what it would take to end social distancing safely while fighting the spread of COVID-19. It isnโ€™t easy. It will require an immense amount of leadership, coordination, and more sacrifice.'

Editorial: COVID-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down

Essay by a group of leaders in medicine from around the world calling for strengthening of international institutions and learning from the responses of Asia and Africa.

Five world leaders: No time for geopolitical turf battles

Letter co-signed by the Heads of State of Germany, Jordan, Ecuador, Ethiopia and Singapore calling for international collective action for the development and access to a vacine for COVID-19.



Open Letter: Contact Tracking and NHSX

Responsible technologists call upon the NHSX leadership and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to follow ethical best practice when using new technologies to fight Coronavirus.

Securing Justice, Health, and Democracy against the COVID-19 Threat

An interdisciplinary team at Harvard's Safra Center for Ethics provides a framework for a COVID-19 response in the context of constitutional democracy. Recommendations center civil liberties, avoiding injustice, and preserving the economy, society, and the institutions of constitutional democracy.

Privacy, public health and the pandemic

Writing for global media organization openDemocracy, sociologist Martin Eirmann cautions governments against adopting emergency logics in the context of COVID-19, with particular attention to privacy.

CDTโ€™s Written Testimony in Senate Paper Hearing on Privacy & Big Data in Coronavirus Response

Privacy advocate Michelle Richardson of the Center for Democracy and Technology gives testimony in US Senate regarding use of big data in COVID-19 response.

Ten reasons why immunity passports are a bad idea

Nature op-ed argues against immunity passports as threats to freedom, fairness and public health.

Equity and Representation

If COVID-19 Doesnโ€™t Discriminate, Then Why Are Black People Dying at Higher Rates?

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) advocates for 8 points for racial justice in COVID-19 response. "This disease threatens us all, but it is disproportionately killing Black people. A COVID-19 response must address the pervasive racial injustices at the federal, state, and local level."

Equitable Data Collection and Disclosure on COVID-19 Act of 2020

Press release from Senator Elizabeth Warren making the case for legislation she has co-sponsored to require.

G7 Must Put a Gender Lens on COVID-19 Efforts

Members of the 2018 and 2019 G7 Gender Equality Advisory Councils urgentlyย called on G7 member states to take into account the gendered dimensions of the crisis and to prevent the deterioration of gender equality and womenโ€™s rights worldwide.ย 

End Internet Shutdowns to Manage COVID-19

Human Rights Watch implores governments that are currently imposing internet shutdowns, including Bangladesh,ย India, andย Myanmar, to reopen access to the internet as an urgent matter in the current health crisis.

Open Letter on Inequities and the COVID-19 Response

Drawing on an evidence base of 500+ studies, social science faculty at the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) advocate for a COVID-19 response grounded in 8 principles of health equity.

Isolation and Social Distancing Policy

Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19

Reports and findings by 25 international experts sent by the WHO to Wuhan. Reports on the high effectiveness of the response adopted in Wuhan/Hubei in containing the virus and includes recommendations for China, countries with imported cases, uninfected countries, the public, and the international community.

Policy Brief: Evidence-Informed Social Distancing Policies for Low-Income Countries
With a focus on Africa, global advisory, data analytics, and research organization IDinsight recommends that governments establish guidelines and communication channels, learning from wealthier countries but adapting to local context, including planning for effective mitigation in vulnerable communities.

Age Adaptive Social Distancing: A Nonlinear Engineering Strategy to Contrast COVID-19 via Precision and Personalized Mitigation

In this working paper, an engineering professor at Tsinghua university proposes an age-stratified social distancing strategy in which ages 20-39 generally resume normal activities under close surveillance for illness and thus pursue rational immunity.

New UCS Analysis: Coronavirus and Flooding Set to Collide in US
higher level of social distancing in a

Quarantine the Sick in New York's Hotels

Fordham Law Professor Carl Minzer advocates for housing the mildly ill rather than at home to protect others in their households. This approach is being tried in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Emergenza COVID-19: Imprese Aperti: Lavoratori Protetti

Recommendations from an intersectoral working group convened at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy, aimed at a safe, controlled and agreed return to work. (Avalilable as .pdf, not yet posted online).

Expose the Young

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ”— the young
Prediction market innovator Robin Hanson, PhD makes a quantitative utilitarian case for the use of incentives to encourage young people to expose themselves to coronavirus and self-isolate.

A Market Solution to Quarantine

๐Ÿ”—Pay people to quarantine (Nate Baker)
Nate Baker, CEO of real estate technology firm Qualia, advocates that incentives should be offered to compensate people to quarantine.

Leveraging Technology and Digital Solutions

How governments can engage digital resources to manage their COVID-19 response

UK advisory firm StateUp, focused on digital innovation with public purpose, encourages governments to engage with civic technology organizations and listsย 9 relevant digital tools.

Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT)

PEPP-PT, a newly-created Swiss organization dedicated to providing a solution to this crisis that adheres to strong European privacy and data protection laws and principles, advocates for the use of proximity tracing to fight COVID-19.

Protecting Civil Liberties During a Public Health Crisis

Recommendations for government from the Electronic Frontier Foundation as to how best to manage surveillance during the pandemic: Intrude on privacy only as necessary and proportionate, collect data based on science, not bias, don't retain data longer than necessary, be transparent and follow due process for restrictions on liberty based on surveillance data.


The Case for Universal Cloth Mask Adoption and Policies to Increase Supply of Medical Masks for Health Workers

Researchers from Yale School of Management and National Bureau of Economic Research recommend the immediate universal adoption of cloth facemasks, including homemade, and accompanying policies to increase the supply of medical masks for health workers. Their US-focused cost-benefit analysis shows thousands of dollars in benefit for each cloth mask and millions for each medical mask.

What the CDC Can Do to Slow the Coronavirus

NY Times op-ed by former CDC Director recommending testing, contact tracing, and federal policy responsive to health experts.

A National Plan to Enable Comprehensive COVID-19 Case Finding and Contact Tracing in the US

Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security advocates for a comprehensive nationwide plan of testing and contact tracing. Plan emphasizes actions by all levels of government and resources needed.


Protecting workersโ€™ jobs and livelihoods: The economic response to Coronavirus

Policy recommendations for protecting workersโ€™ jobs and livelihoods from UK Trades Union Congress (TUC).

COVID-19 Resources

Policy papers from the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Emphasis on policy responses to protect small businesses and their employees.

A just and sustainable economic response to Coronavirus, explained

Energy and climate journalist David Roberts advocates a near-term focus on recovery and a longer-term focus on resilience and renewal.

Suggested COVID-19 Measures for Revenue Authorities

African Tax Administration Forum advises revenue authorities on how to continue funding government through tax collection in the face of the pandemic.

Trade Policies for Africa to Tackle COVID-19

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa advocates for short-, medium- and long-term trade policies to to improve access to medical supplies and expertise, and support economic resilience.

Universal Basic Income (UBI)

Should We Provide Emergency Universal Basic Income to Everyone or Just Those Who Need It?

Universal basic income advocate Scott Santens argues that the US economic stimulus in response to COVID-19 should be in the form of universal (non-means-tested) payments.

Basic Income: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Read (and share) the basic income chapter (for Free) by Rutger Bregman.