Out of a field of over 80 proposals by organizations in Africa — many working in collaboration — The Governance Lab (GovLab) at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, L'Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), and Expertise France chose seven projects to receive the #Data4COVID19 Africa Challenge. The challenge seeks to address the social, economic, and health challenges resulting from COVID-19 in Africa through new collaborations around non-traditional, non-statistical datasets.
Following a call for innovative proposals that ran from December 15, 2020 through February 5, 2021, and with the input of a panel of outside data experts, The GovLab, AFD and their partners selected the following:
Though there's been much progress around the world to develop collaborative data ecosystems that can improve people's lives, there are still significant gaps. By funding this new and innovative work, we hope to build the data infrastructure needed to tackle the pandemic and other dynamic societal threats."
Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, The GovLab
"Creating an environment to enable multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration for innovation to provide actionable strategic insights and contextual intelligence that leverage on data to address issues related to the COVID19 crisis is at the core of this initiative", said Thomas Melonio, Executive Director of Innovation, Research & Knowledge at AFD. Peter Addo, AFD data specialist and Director of Datalab, echoed this point, noting, "This initiative is part of AFD's effort to prioritize investments in data and the Fourth Industrial Revolution to contribute to an innovation-led, knowledge based economy in Africa."
"The important number of proposals received is a genuine proof that there is a real need for data related support in Africa," said Beata Suszterova, project coordinator within Expertise France. "The selected proposals are all very relevant and we are looking forward to working with our African counterparts on this data challenge."
In addition to funding, funded projects will have access to a Situation Room, an online meeting place where funded researchers and select data experts can meet to discuss their current work, brainstorm solutions to major challenges, and share findings. This resource will enable peer-to-peer learning and broaden the impact and reach of each individual project. Data-driven professionals interested in providing support can send an email inquiring at [email protected]
AFD and its partners will remain engaged and help manage the Situation Room. It will also communicate outcomes as they emerge. Organizations are encouraged to visit https:/
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
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