Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Making sense of messy data: Analysing government responses to Covid-19

In this course, students will work directly with the CoronaNet Research Project, one of the world’s largest Covid-19 policy trackers. You will learn how these type of data are collected and prepared for analysis and how they can be used to answer questions such as: How effective are these policies? How and why do they vary? What can we learn for the future from the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic?

You will gain hands-on experience with data collection and coding, as well as learn strategies for analysing incomplete and often messy data to answer relevant and timely policy questions. In the process, you will also gain insights into the management and coordination of such a large-scale data collection project.

This seminar will be very hands-on and requires students to spend significant amounts of time working with raw and incomplete data. In addition, the class will also examine existing literature on Covid-19 policies with an eye to how analyses might be enhanced with new or different kinds of data. The literature and policies investigated will depend, in part, on student interest and the final output will be in the form of a written paper or policy memo with accompanying data analysis.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.