How can Governments and International Organizations Work with the COVID Action Platform? World Economic Forum


With countries experiencing unprecedented challenges and impact under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum has launched the COVID Action Platform in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the crisis in three main ways:

  1. Galvanize the global business community for collective action
  2. Protect people’s livelihoods and facilitate business continuity
  3. Mobilize cooperation and business support for the COVID-19 response

To date, 350+ public organizations, including ministries, central banks, regional and international organizations all over the world, have joined the Platform along with 850+ private organizations to collaboratively mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public figures have contributed their commitment and valuable insights to the Platform by (1) engaging with TopLink projects, (2) participating in high-level virtual gatherings, and (3) joining the Forum’s Regional Action Groups. To keep up to date with the latest on the COVID Action Platform, please visit the live updates section.

Platform Projects

A total of 35 projects are now available on the COVID Action Platform for public and private organizations to join and engage. These projects call on governments and international organizations to contribute knowledge, know-how and insights on the collective response and actions towards the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from healthcare delivery and vaccine innovation to supply chain network and financial services response. Public organizations are welcome to submit their own projects and calls for the engagement and contribution of other public and private organizations.

Project by the World Economic Forum

Managing Epidemics with Consumer Wearables aims to establish an ethical, accountable and practical governance system that provides authorities and public health officials with useful information for epidemic response using derived insights from information collected on consumer wearable IoT devices. Policymakers from Estonia and Rwanda as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) have participated in the project community and provided regular input via interviews and workshop participation, along with private companies such as Amazon Web Services, Apple, Facebook, IBM and Xiaomi.

Project by the World Health Organization

The Epidemic Big Data Resource and Analytics Innovation Network (EPI-BRAIN) is an innovative global platform that allows experts in data and public health to analyze large data-sets for emergency preparedness and response. Through big data and artificial intelligence, the network aims to improve the prediction towards the outbreak as well as strengthen the response to the pandemic. Currently, the Ministry of Health from Bangladesh, Finland, Germany, Singapore and the United States, and the International Air Transport Association have joined the project community together with 11 private organizations to reduce the impact of outbreaks through forecasting and predictive analytics.

Project by the World Economic Forum and Deloitte

The Disruptive Technologies in Mental Health initiative discussed the mental health impact of COVID-19 and the role of technology on this issue. The three-year project aims to create a new toolkit for policymakers and other leaders seeking to craft policy on mental health and technology. As one of the partner countries, the Ministry of Health of New Zealand has participated in the project with Deloitte to provide perspectives and insights on the core elements of the toolkit.

Other projects that governments and international organizations have participated include:

High-Level Virtual Events

High-Level Global Virtual Meeting

Every Wednesday from March to May 2020, the COVID Action Platform held a high-level global virtual meeting and invited public figures and CEOs as speakers to share their policies, interventions and insights as well as to identify solutions and partnerships in response to the pandemic. Over 20 head of states, ministerial-level public figures, and leaders from international and regional organizations have joined the calls.

Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha

Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha shared the experience of testing and the country's strategy on containing the COVID-19 pandemic through an all-government approach.

Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland

Canada's Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland explainedhow the country has maintained the trade flow with the United States while cutting the traffic across border.

India's Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal

India's Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal addressed the government's stringent lock down and response to economic fallout and toll on employment.

Other public figures that have joined the call include:

Highlights from the latest weekly call (20 May 2020):

Joint WHO-WEF Briefing

In addition to the High-Level Global Virtual Meetings, the Joint WHO-WEF Briefings invite governments and international organizations to provide updates on the current COVID-19 situation. With WHO Regional Directors, government and business leaders convened to share their respective responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, this joint briefing provides media leaders, journalists and the wider public with the latest information and the opportunity to interact with experts and public figures.

Currently, a series of COVID-19 Africa Media Briefingsare available for the public, with the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, as a regular contributor. The Forum has also hosted the COVID-19 Asia Media Briefingson 14 May together with the WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, and the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Tan Sri Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria.

Virtual Ocean Dialogue

The World Economic Forum and Friends of Ocean Action, a group of 58 global leaders fast-tracking scalable solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean, are curating the Virtual Ocean Dialogues to convene leaders and communities online from across the global ocean space. Designed in collaboration with a range of other partners, particularly Peter Thomson, the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean, the Virtual Ocean Dialogues will maintain momentum in the face of COVID-19 to continue working for ambitious and urgent global action for a healthy ocean.

With the recent postponement of the United Nations Ocean Conference to 2021, the Forum has stepped up to help maintain momentum on the ocean action agenda, by providing the UN and stakeholders around the world a series of virtual dialogues focused on solutions and innovations for restoring ocean health and rebuilding a sustainable ocean economy. The Virtual Ocean Dialogues took place to this effect from 1st to 5th June, online.

Trade Multistakeholder Conversation

While the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference will only convene in mid-2021, an inclusive and open dialogue on trade reform is more urgent than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic adds a massive shock to a system already strained by geopolitical, societal, economic and environmental tensions.

Therefore, the Forum is convening, over the course of 24 hours on July 8th, an open series of virtual events. Businesses large and small, governments, NGOs, researchers and citizens bring valuable perspective to the challenges we face - how can we ensure international trade benefits humanity and the planet in the 21st century?

Regional Action Group (RAG)

The Regional Action Groups are high-level invite-only communities for leaders to shape the regional agenda and priorities and drive for public private cooperation for impact. The RAG has a multi-stakeholder composition and approaches issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, providing leaders from government, international and regional organizations, business and civil society with a trusted platform to coordinate their response and rebuild efforts through regular meetings in a virtual format. The Forum has now launched the RAGs in seven regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Japan, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia.

The primary goal of the RAGs will be to develop strategies that address both the immediate and short-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also craft new principles for resilience in the medium to long-term. The specific mandate and deliverables will be decided and agreed upon by the RAG, but the three broad objectives include:

The first phase of the RAG focuses on the recovery and resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic. The themes for these meetings include supply chain disruptions, reskilling and upskilling, economic and fiscal stimulus packages, impact of sustained low oil prices, and aviation, travel and tourism. Currently, all RAGs are developing recovery strategies for the post COVID-19 era, from an economic, political and social point of view.

External Resources

In addition to the COVID Action Platform, international organizations and academia have also established policy response trackers to share and monitor government’s interventions and approaches on minimizing the negative impact of COVID-19.

GOVERNMENT Tackling Coronavirus: Contributing to a Global Effort by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The OECD has set up a special COVID-19 webpage to highlight the key impacts and policy responses every day. The organization also established the Country Policy Tracker and Innovative Response Tracker to monitor the fiscal and monetary as well as employment and social initiatives, sharing best practices of innovative solutions all over the world.

The country policy tracker from the ILO detailed the policies implemented by governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations in four aspects: (1) stimulating the economy and employment, (2) supporting enterprises, jobs and incomes, (3) protecting workers in the workplace, and (4) relying on social dialogue for solutions. Besides, ILO assessed the Sectoral Impact, Responses and Recommendations on industries such as agriculture and food security, civil aviation, education and health sectors.

The tracker compared and visualized the policy responses towards the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, collecting information on the stringency of containment, economic and health policies from each country.

To understand the impact of COVID-19 on global mobility, the IOM mapped human mobility at the global, regional and country level and monitored the travel restrictions in each country. The organization also published COVID-19 Crisis Response for employers and labour recruiters.

This trade measure tracker provided the latest updates on import and export measures from each country, listing details on the affected products and partners, type of measures, and effect on trade.

This tracker serves as a tool for sharing best practices of innovative solutions all over the world under the current crisis, with 200+ examples and initiatives in the collection now.

This policy tracker summarized the key economic policies from governments around the world in response to COVID-19, focusing on fiscal, monetary and macro-financial, and exchange rate and balance of payments policies.

Collecting economic policy responses from government websites, the tracker depicted the types of economic intervention against COVID-19 from central banks, fiscal authorities, and international organizations.

The IGC tracker captured the economic support measures, including wage support, cash transfer, credit scheme, tax cuts and delays, and interest rate cuts, across the developing countries.

As tax policy plays an important role in alleviating the economic and financial impact caused by the pandemic, this tracker provided an overview of the tax policy changes around the world.

The OGP tool provided a real-time and crowd-sourced list of 350+ government approaches to combat the pandemic as well as support the citizens and civil society.