A Data Ecosystem to Defeat COVID-19

Paper by Bapon Fakhruddin: “…A wide range of approaches could be applied to understand transmission, outbreak assessment, risk communication, cascading impacts assessment on essential and other services. The network-based modelling of System of Systems (SOS), mobile technology, frequentist statistics and maximum-likelihood estimation, interactive data visualization, geostatistics, graph theory, Bayesian statistics, mathematical modelling, evidence synthesis approaches and complex thinking frameworks for systems interactions on COVID-19 impacts could be utilized. An example of tools and technologies that could be utilized to act decisively and early to prevent the further spread or quickly suppress the transmission of COVID-19, strengthen the resilience of health systems and save lives and urgent support to developing countries with businesses and corporations are shown in Figure 2. There are also WHO guidance on ‘Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management[8]’, UNDRR supported ‘Public Health Scorecard Addendum[9]’, and other guidelines (e.g. WHO practical considerations and recommendations for religious leaders and faith-based communities in the context of COVID-19[10]) that could enhance pandemic response plan. It needs to be ensured that any such use is proportionate, specific and protected and does not increase civil liberties’ risk. It is essential therefore to examine in detail the challenge of maximising data use in emergency situations, while ensuring it is task-limited, proportionate and respectful of necessary protections and limitations. This is a complex task and the COVID-19 wil provide us with important test cases. It is also important that data is interpreted accurately. Otherwise, misinterpretations could lead each sector down to incorrect paths.

Figure 2: Tools to strengthen resilience for COVID-19

Many countries are still learning how to make use of data for their decision making in this critical time. The COVID-19 pandemic will provide important lessons on the need for cross-domain research and on how, in such emergencies, to balance the use of technological opportunities and data to counter pandemics against fundamental protections….(More)”.