#Data4COVID19 Round-Up: 18 February

Andrew J. Zahuranec
Feb 18 · 5 min read
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PHOTO: Unsplash/Matteo Jorjoson is licensed under CC0

Welcome to The GovLab’s #Data4COVID19 Round-Up. This temporary, weekly curation will provide you with notable updates to the #Data4COVID19 data collaborative repository and other information meant to facilitate data stewardship in the ongoing pandemic. Have an interesting novel coronavirus-related project worth sharing? Send it to us at datastewards@thegovlab.org so we can consider it as an addition.

Panel on Global Perspectives on AI Ethics

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been significant discussion about using new tools and technologies to support response efforts. One of these tools, artificial intelligence (AI), is the source of significant interest. However, questions remain about when, where, and how it is ethical to use AI for the public good.

As part of its free, online course AI Ethics: Global Perspectives, The GovLab will host a panel on Global Perspectives on AI Ethics seeking to answer some of these questions. Facilitated by Stefaan Verhulst, Idoia Salazar (OdiselA), Danya Glabau (NYU Tandon), Mark Findlay (Centre for AI and Data Governance), Nydia Remolina (Singapore Management University), and Jerry John Kponyo (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) will discuss the ethics of AI today amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other dynamic challenges.

The panel will be held Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM ET. Registration is open and free to all those interested through the Eventbrite here.

Data Responsibility Journey User-Testing

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As part of its work with COVIDaction, an initiative to help decisionmakers use data to tackle COVID-19, The GovLab is building an interactive tool to map risks and responsibilities across the data life cycle and nudge and guide responsible decision making along the journey. The tool is intended to support the design or assessment of data collaboratives, especially those supporting the response to COVID-19 in developing countries.

The interactive, customized tool will be publicly launched in March after an initial user-testing period. To support its development, The GovLab and COVIDaction are organizing a series of user-testing workshops to solicit feedback on the Data Responsibility Journey. We are eager to tap into the wisdom of individuals with experience in using data in a development context across public agencies; humanitarian and development organizations; businesses; and civil society organizations. If you are interested in participating, please fill out our form here.

Additional information on the effort can be found at the blog post here. Further queries can be directed to datastewards@thegovlab.org.

What’s New in the #Data4COVID19 Repository
The GovLab has been working to update the #Data4COVID19 repository. In the last two weeks, it added 4 entries, expanding it to 229 in total. Projects now span:

  • East Asia and Pacific: 10
  • Europe and Central Asia: 46 (+1)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: 7
  • Middle East and North Africa: 1
  • North America: 73 (+2)
  • South Asia: 4
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: 12
  • Global: 86 (+1)

Each week, we will highlight a few of those recent additions to the repository that you might have missed. These examples illustrate innovative methods, appear demand-driven, or otherwise demonstrate an attempt to translate insights into action. We also aspire, to the extent possible, to make the selections geographically diverse. A project’s inclusion does not indicate endorsement by The GovLab or confirmation of its success in meeting its goals.

This week we examine a project that analyzes mobility data to understand how aggregated movement patterns correlate with public health outcomes, a cross-sector consortium providing tools to inform decision-making related to the economic recovery from COVID-19, and a dashboard supporting comparative analyses of pandemic response across different regions.

Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Dashboard: The COVID-19 Prioritization Dashboard is a collaborative project between the Johns Hopkins Health Research Center and the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities. The dashboard tracks vaccine prioritization plans for people with disabilities across the 56 US states, territories, and DC to help them determine when they qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine. It uses publicly reported COVID-19 data and vaccine plans across the United States.

Emergent Alliance: The Emergent Alliance is a not-for-profit organization composed of various companies and research organizations to improve the decision-making of corporations, small businesses, and public sector organizations as it relates to the economic toll of COVID-19. The collaboration uses data and data science to provide various tools, currently available for free, to decision-makers. These tools include the Emergent Economic Engine, which answers “what might happen to your local economy and what you should do to help business rebound.” It also includes a travel restrictions dashboard, which shows entry limitations for foreign travellers on a map.

Tracking COVID-19 using online search: In a paper published in the journal Nature, a group of researchers studied how online search-query data might support public health surveillance for COVID-19. The research relied on data obtained from Google Health Trends, a non-public application interface offered by Google to researchers to help them study search data; a collection of media coverage on COVID-19; and daily confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths as reported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. From an analysis of eight countries — the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Greece, and South Africa — the researchers found online searches for COVID-19 terminology closely precede confirmed cases and deaths. They conclude that search data could help supplement existing public health surveillance approaches.

You can also find additional resources related to data stewardship and data collaboration here.

Data Stewards Network

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