Tracking Public Health and Social Measures: A Global Dataset

Public health and social measures (PHSMs) are measures or actions by individuals, institutions, communities, local and national governments and international bodies to slow or stop the spread of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of organizations have begun tracking implementation of PHSMs around the world, using different data collection methods, database designs and classification schemes.

The public health and social measures (PSHM) dataset is a unique collaboration between WHO and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. It aims to collate PHSM data from the main trackers, bringing them into a standard structure and coding them to a common taxonomy.  Generating a dataset that is as complete as possible - for both PHSMs and countries/territories. WHO developed the taxonomy in consultation with other groups, based around existing PHSMs for other influenza like illness. This was then expanded to cope with PHSMs that the groups thought would be used, or were already in place. The work has two main stages. The first brings the datasets together into a standard format. An initial coding of the WHO taxonomy is assigned on data import. The second stage is for a subset of the data, which is manually cleaned by volunteers.