Effective contact tracing and the role of apps: lessons from Europe

Cross-Country Analysis


Effective contact tracing and the role of apps: lessons from Europe

Contact tracing is an essential tool to support the transition back to normal life during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article explores how 31 countries operate contact tracing, using data extracted from the COVID-19 Health Systems Response Monitor (HSRM).


Two main approaches emerge: centralised (led by one national agency) and decentralised (at regional/district level). In most cases, trained staff conduct phone interviews, and many countries have moved to strengthen the capacity of tracing teams. Further, contact tracing apps are being developed and implemented, although some difficulties related to privacy concerns have arisen, necessitating more transparency on how data are collected. Full article here