Knowledge for a sustainable world

What implications will the pandemic have on the daily lives of people around the globe? How will the lockdowns, layoffs and food shortages affect people’s mental health, relationships, work, income, and expectations of their government? Life with Corona is a not-for-profit research project designed to capture the voices and moods of affected citizens around the world.

Tilman Brück, NRI’s Professor of Food Security, State Fragility and Climate Change, recently joined the Institute as part of our Food and Nutrition Security Initiative, FaNSI. Professor Brück initiated the Life with Corona project with the ISDC - International Security and Development Center and the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, among other partners.

“The coronavirus changed the lives and livelihoods of billions of people worldwide, with unprecedented speed and force” says Professor Brück. “This is not just a medical pandemic – it is a social pandemic as well.”

The aim of the project is to track the impact of the pandemic, to build a global knowledge base on how people are dealing with this extraordinary situation. The project will provide data to support sustainable socio-economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, 1st October 2020, the second round of the Life with Corona global survey is being launched, alongside a report covering key findings from six months of data collection including:

  • Young adults actively perform many behaviours to counter the pandemic.
  • Stress in families during the pandemic falls disproportionately on women.
  • Older people worry less during the pandemic, despite being at greater health risk.
  • Support for government’s countermeasures drops after the first peak of COVID-related deaths in a country.
  • Overall, people think a vaccine should be made available globally. Only in the USA do more people think their country should have special access to it.
  • Younger people are more willing to pay to stop the spread of the disease than older people.

These findings come from analysis of nearly 12,000 responses from more than 130 countries.

“Our lives are changing rapidly, fundamentally and permanently. New lines of conflicts within families, between generations and between countries are emerging. Even if we defeat the virus soon, its legacy will shape our societies for a long time, in complex ways. We document these changes in real time,” adds Dr Wolfgang Stojetz, from ISDC - International Security and Development Center and Head of Data & Analysis of the Life with Corona survey.

“Our analysis shows how comprehensive the social, economic and psychological impacts of the pandemic are, in developed and developing economies alike,” says Professor Patricia Justino from United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). ‘The Life with Corona survey allows us to see how the pandemic affects the way people all over the world relate to each other as the pandemic unfolds.”

“This pandemic, and the policy responses we’ve seen around the world, has highlighted how little we know about how people cope in a global crisis. The impacts are felt beyond the health sector or the economy; each individual has had to change the way they live. As researchers, we want to learn how people react and respond in this extraordinary time,” says Professor Anke Hoeffler from the University of Konstanz.

The second round of the survey, launching today, 1 October 2020, will grow the reach and breadth of the research, expanding the global dataset on the impacts of COVID-19.

Participation in this survey is essential for research and informed policy-making, and the researchers hope citizens around the world will take 15 minutes to share their experience in the name of science.

The project is run by an international research consortium, including ISDC – International Security and Development Center, United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Leibniz-Institut für Gemüse- und Zierpflanzenbau (IGZ), the University of Konstanz, and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS). It is also supported by various volunteers and a network of collaborating organizations and institutions from around the world.

The survey can be accessed in 18 languages at lifewithcorona.org, with more languages being added in the next few weeks.

For interviews with Professors Brück, Justino, or Hoeffler or for information on the project, please contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +358 (0)961599257