On 11 March 2020, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, after the number of cases surpassed 100,000 outside China and rapidly spread throughout the globe.

By then, “Of the 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those – China and the Republic of Korea - have significantly declining epidemics. 81 countries have not reported any cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less”, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom, stated.

The situation has quickly evolved, more cases have been identified in the rest of the world (about 160 countries) than in China as of 18 March.

The role of ACAPS

The COVID-19 pandemic is infecting and causing illness in a rapidly expanding proportion of countries and populations. Previous epidemics have shown that collateral impacts on people, livelihoods and overall wellbeing go beyond the infection itself.

The disease specific impact and response will be well monitored by public health authorities, WHO and other specialist organizations, but the secondary effects, which will be multi-sectoral, are often unrecognized and thus unmitigated. 

ACAPS will focus predominantly on the immediate, short and medium-term secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our view will to produce global analysis, providing a broad overview of the situation overall, as well as context specific analysis, with a narrower focus on regions, countries and crisis hot spots. 

We see a critical role for monitoring these effects and making a holistic view of the situation available.

We see a critical role for monitoring these effects and making a holistic view of the situation available.

See ACAPS' resources on COVID-19

Focus areas

Looking beyond the mortality and morbidity caused directly by COVID -19 in the short term, the key areas we envision our analysis to include a focus on:

  • Impact on essential health services
  • Impact on access and availability of regular goods and services
  • Humanitarian operations
  • Social cohesion and protection


In line with ACAPS’ established methodology, three different approaches will be employed:

  • Global comparable datasets will be produced through expert judgement and secondary data review (SDR). This will involve continual scanning of a broad range sources
  • Deep dives into specific contexts, crises and themes will be developed using Contextual a mixed methods approach (including field level primary data collection where appropriate)
  • Forward-looking scenarios and risk reports will provide perspectives on global and crisis-level risks and possible futures. These products will be based on ACAPS scenario building approach.

All tools and methodology will be specifically adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.


We are inherently collaborative in nature, our data comes from a broad range of sources and partners to contribute to the most holistic and inclusive picture of impact and needs, and we look for partnerships to augment our capacity and to bring new information and voices into the analytical process and products. 

We welcome reactions to this work, let us know what you think and please get in touch with us if you are interested in collaborating or have information you would like us to include via info@acaps.org

This project is in collaboration with 

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And in close coordination with WHO and OCHA.