Pandemic management and prevention

Illustration of many different hands holding many different devices, such as phones and tablets, showing notifications about COVID-19, outbreaks, pandemics, lockdown, and similar.

We started the Survey of Covid-19 Behaviours (SCRUB) project in March 2020 to provide current and future policymakers with actionable insights into public attitudes and behaviours relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was led by Ready Research in partnership with BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University and Australian Catholic University; and a group of more than 100 international researchers.

In Australia, SCRUB received pilot funding from the Monash Sustainable Development Institute at Monash University. It was then funded by the Victorian Government for 15 months, resulting in a total of output of 21 waves of data collection and reporting. All project funding was received by three members of our research collaboration employed at BehaviourWorks Australia (which led the Australian chapter of the project).

Building on the COSMO project, a WHO/Europe initiative, we ran a “living survey” – with both repeated cross-sectional and longitudinal sampling – throughout the pandemic. In this survey we tracked relevant protective behaviours (e.g., handwashing and social distancing) their variations by demographic and location, and their determinants. We also tested interventions.

SCRUB ran every 3-4 weeks since March 2020 until June 2021. We measured:

- what people are doing to keep themselves safe (e.g., distancing, mask-wearing, willingness to vaccinate, compliance with rules) and why;

- the impact of COVID-19 on lives and livelihoods (e.g., mental health and wellbeing, work arrangements, government payments and community services, worries);

- beliefs and expectations of a sustainable recovery (e.g., household finances, travel, COVIDSafe workplaces)

- changes in related attitudes related issues such as meat consumption and pandemic preparedness

After each wave of data collection, we generated and disseminated a report for relevant policy makers.

More than 50,000 surveys in more than 40 countries were completed. The vast majority of this was Australian data, but we also collected over 3000 international responses.

The international data can be accessed here.

This contains 3104 total responses, and 1359 repeat responses (people who used the same email address for 2 or more waves).

All domestic data is currently embargoed by our government partners.

Several papers are being produced from the data. The following have been accepted for publication:

Information safety assurances increase intentions to use COVID-19 contact tracing applications, regardless of autonomy-supportive or controlling message framing

Age and education moderate the relationship between confidence in health and political authorities and intention to adopt COVID-19 health-protective behaviours

The project was widely covered by the media, for example, in live interviews on SBS and ABC News, on radio stations such as ABC News Radio and Triple M, and in articles in The Conversation and ABC news.

Read more here.

Animal welfare

We recently completed an overview of reviews to identify interventions that reduce dietary consumption of animal products. You can read the paper here or a read a project summary here.

Charitable donation

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We conducted an overview of systematic reviews to identify interventions that promote charitable donations. You can read the paper here or read a project summary here.