COVID-19 Data Analysis-5.1 (Nationalism and Civilianism Index: Information Transparency) print   
joongmin  Email [2020-09-09 15:43:01]  HIT : 82  

Impact of Transparent Information during the COVID-19


1.    Background

COVID-19 data analysis 5 series will focus on how emergency measurements during the COVID-19 influence the nationalism around the world. To illustrate, we will analyze the survey results of opinions of global citizens whether they perceive a certain policy will lead a country to nationalism or citizens’ cooperation. International cooperation is occasionally disturbed by countries with strong and offensive nationalism, and sometimes, even a central government cannot control the national outrage triggered by nationalistic sentiment. Even worse, irrational nationalism would bring about racism and xenophobia, which severely undermines the free and open market around the globe. On the contrary, cooperation among citizens and governments would enhance the effectiveness of abating the crisis and it will help fast recovery from an emergency to everyday life.

Fear and panic may cause an unstable state of society, and therefore, sometimes a government chooses not to release the information of an emergency and keep it classified. At this moment, an unprecedented and extraordinary disease is threatening the globe and an extreme volume of patients are waiting for the cure. Facing the rapid spread of the virus, transparent and accurate information sharing is of significance in mitigating the surge of COVID-19. For example, Italy adopted a transparent strategy following registration of the first COVID-19 case; the aim was to avoid unreasonable public confusion through media or other channels. Besides, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been providing daily updated and situation reports on the progression of the pandemic and has provided global guidance and support.[1]


2.    Research Topic

In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to sustaining social stability along with protecting the public health. Information sharing may cause hoarding, stock market crash, and so on; however, it is transparent information sharing that can check the corruption and can quickly respond to the pandemic. In this section, we will scrutinize how global individuals think of transparent information sharing during the COVID-19 crisis.


3.    Questionnaire Used

Survey Question II-7: “While fighting against a global pandemic like COVID-19, a country may begin to follow either a state-centric and chauvinist path, or a democratic path based on citizen participation. In terms of transparent information sharing on testing and disinfection, what direction do you expect the following policies/trends to take?”

The answers consist of a 10-point scale, with higher scores indicating an individual believes the policy will lead citizens to democratic/participatory citizenship and lower scores demonstrating a person acknowledges the measure will result in citizens’ state-centric/chauvinistic.


4.    Major Outcomes

Table 1: Information Transparency – Nationalism Index (ITNI) and Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI) by Citizens of 30 Global Cities


Respondents are asked to choose one score to represent their ideas on the question, and the average scores of each city indicate the Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI). It demonstrates that citizens’ thoughts on the impact of transparent information sharing, and the higher the score is, the more individuals believe that transparent information will lead to civilianism of a country. Meanwhile, the reverse scaling was used in the Information Transparency – Nationalism Index (ITNI), which means that 11 minus ITCI is the Information Transparency – Nationalism Index (ITNI). Similarly, the higher the ITNI score is, the more a citizen holds that a certain policy will lead a country to nationalism. Finally, the numerical differences between the two scores were calculated in order to show which side a city is putting more significance. To illustrate, the higher a numerical difference is, the more citizens of the city assumes the policy will lead people to democratic and participatory citizenship.

Table 2: Average Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI) by Region


Average Information Transparency – Civilianism Index Index (1 – 10)

East Asia


Southeast/South Asia


North America




Latin America





The scores in the table are the average Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI) of the global citizens by region. To be specific, the lowest score of 6.06 was rated by Oceanian citizens on average, and the highest score of 7.42 was rated by Latin American citizens. There were various scores among distinguished areas; nevertheless, all regions think highly of transparent information sharing during the crisis since the scores of ITCI are higher than the middle number of 5.50.

Figure 1: Bar Graph of Average Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI) by Region


Figure 1 is the visualized graph of Table 2, and the orange line is the world average Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI). That Latin American citizens think highly of the information transparency is evidenced by the figure, and the scores are followed by Europe, South/Southeast Asian, North American, East Asian, and Oceanian people. For further detailed analysis, let’s see each city’s score of ITCI and ITNI.

Figure 2: Line Graph of Information Transparency – Nationalism Index (ITNI) and Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI)


This figure is a visualized version of Table 1, and the most outstanding finding of Figure 2 is that South Korea, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, Argentine, and Chile, represented by Seoul, Daegu, Madrid, Rome, Lisbon, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago, show a huge gap between Information Transparency Nationalism Index and Civilianism Index. It means that citizens in these countries generally regard that data transparency and openness will engender civilianism in a society. Besides, all cities are perceiving that transparent information has a positive effect and will draw participation and cooperation among people.

Figure 3: Bar Graph of Numerical Difference between Information Transparency – Civilianism Index (ITCI) and Information Transparency – Nationalism Index (ITNI)


The differences between ITCIs and ITNIs are drawn as a bar graph, shown in Figure 3. The orange bar indicates the global average difference score (6.47). All cities are presenting that accessing to transparent information will lead to global civilianism, and a city with a bar above the orange line implying that the city is more accenting on the information transparency, while a city with a bar below the orange line indicating that the city is less highlighting the policy. Nevertheless, all cities conceive that a certain policy will lead a nation in a cooperative direction. Moreover, as shown in Figure 3, all Latin American cities rated higher than the global average, whereas Taipei scored the lowest, followed by Singapore, Osaka, and Tokyo, which are East Asian cities.


5.    Summaries and Further Tasks

a.     Data analysis shows that global citizens believe transparent information sharing will lead a country to civilianism.

b.     Latin American average ITCI scored highest, indicating the region is more highly emphasizing transparent information sharing amid the crisis.

c.     The study is limited to descriptive research, and therefore, a more detailed explanative investigation is required to further understand the global citizens’ consciousness presented above. For instance, why citizens in South Korea think highly of information transparency when other East Asian cities’ scores of ITCI rated the lowest? Why Latin American and Southern European citizens are equally underlining the information transparency? What factor makes them similar?

[1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. (2020) “Transparency and information sharing could help abate the COVID-19 pandemic”. (2020.09.01)

     75. Survey on Citizens in 30 Global Cities (The Second Media Briefing on COVID-19 Survey)