Yesterday we published an in-depth look into the fundraising data behind the fight against Ebola from Andrew Grabois of the Foundation Centre. Today, we follow up on Grabois’ piece with a Quartz article, authored by Gwynn Guilford, detailing an innovative new initiative to fight Ebola.
In her recent article, Guildford interviews Madhav Marathe, an expert on epidemiology and computing at Virginia Tech. In attempting to combat Ebola, Marathe believes “the first step is to find out the ‘pulse’ of the society, [the citizens’] perception, their willingness to comply with public health measures.” Guilford notes this is easier said than done in a country like Sierra Leonne, where Ebola is now suspected of killing more than 3,000 people, and they still struggle with a “spotty communications infrastructure.”
So how can crowdsourcing data help us find this ‘pulse’ and what can it mean for combatting Ebola? Well, thanks to IBM Research and Sierra Leone’s Open Government Initiative (OGI), they have “created a new platform that lets the government and citizens communicate via radio, text and voice messaging, and then deploys sophisticated analytics to find useful trends from the data.”
Read the full article on Quartz to learn the results of crowdsourcing data as a means to combat Ebola. While the initiative may be in its infancy, its approach to crowdsourcing on-the-ground data has the potential to shape the struggle against Ebola.