News, The COVID-19 Roundup

Reinventing How COVID-19 Data Is Shared

As disinformation continues to spread, civil society organizations and academics are developing new ways to share data about the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Roundup is a curated list for social sector practitioners and policymakers navigating the complexities of the global pandemic.

01. Reinventing How Medical Data Is Shared

COVID-19 poses a challenge to how early medical data is shared, reviewed, and published. To ensure more inclusive and timely access to the latest science, researchers have made studies available through open, preprint archives, bypassing the peer review process. To prevent the spread of misinformation, MIT and UC Berkeley are developing a model of academic publishing based on a new type of journal that makes peer reviews publicly available ahead of the publication. The approach requires engaging the next generation of peer reviewers, laying the groundwork for a better trained and motivated workforce as students and young scientists rise up through the system. “Pushing the peer review process further upstream will benefit a wide variety of stakeholders: journalists, clinicians, researchers, and the public at large.”

02. The COVID-19 Map Explorer

Developed by the UNOCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data, the COVID-19 Map Explorer is a living resource that visualizes the impact of COVID-19 on already vulnerable populations in countries with a refugee or humanitarian operation. Bringing together dozens of datasets from more than 20 sources, the tool is meant to help decision makers prioritize resources for these populations, which account for one third of COVID-19 cases worldwide. Key datasets include COVID-19 cases and deaths, food market prices across a range of commodities, acute food insecurity, the status of current vaccination campaigns and annual vaccination levels, and more.

03. Global Perspectives on Data Justice and COVID-19

The global health crisis is reshaping how power—social, economic, and political—is created, exerted, and extended through technology. Data Justice and COVID-19: Global Perspectives, published by Meatspace Press, looks at how technologies of monitoring infections, information, and behavior have been justified and applied during the crisis. Dozens of essays contributed by sixty authors covering events in more than thirty countries compare how various surveillance technologies were implemented in response to the pandemic. Available through open access.

04. Global Cooperation After COVID-19

Earlier in the year, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) published an opinion series by researchers, academics, and government officials that offers an analysis of the post-pandemic world. The series includes dozens of reflections on the long-term impact of COVID-19 on global cooperation, globalization, faith in public action and science, social cohesion, and the trade-off between civil liberties and personal privacy. Regional perspectives shed light on security and human rights concerns, innovation and technology, and governance and policy. Includes video.

05. Ethics and Reporting Practices for COVID-19

A series of roundups posted early in the pandemic by Data & Society’s Smitha Khorana considers ethics and reporting practices for COVID-19. In part 2, Khorana writes, “In the context of this pandemic and accompanying economic crisis, we need data, information from whistleblowers, and sensitive reporting that continues to provide resources and essential information to citizens.” Meanwhile, through its Disinformation Action Lab, Data & Society is working with research, industry, and civil society partners to address how propaganda and disinformation spread. Resources include tips for reporting on disinformation, verifying online census media, and identifying where missing data can easily be exploited by those with ideological, economic, or political agendas.

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