COVID-19 precipitated a global economic crisis, and even as wealthier nations are bouncing back, it is creating a great divergence between them and the rest of the world. According to Oxfam International, it threatens “the biggest rise in inequality…” The long-term negative economic and social impacts of the pandemic are predicted to cause even more long-term damage in the developing world such as lower earnings, fewer jobs, poorer health, and more deaths among those already hardest hit.
The COVID-19 pandemic undeniably highlighted the need for data and the value of models to inform response strategies. It further illustrated that anticipatory action is no longer a conjectured idea but rather a framework upon which the protection of the most vulnerable populations can be built. The pandemic reinforced a global demand for the use of data, most especially the tools of predictive analytics to anticipate and predict what would happen and to activate response mechanisms earlier. At the time of embarking on this project, Nigerian agencies administering covid efforts did not have a robust platform to report key data.
Our strategy and process
Core strategy included data research, collection, cleaning, analysis, and standard validation. We then built a web app to aggregate and feature data in different formats which include Data by Map, Data by Sector and Data by State. The Data by Map feature provided data on the Covid19 vaccine administered in all 36 states using comparative models. The data by Map presented analytical comaprisons using a geospatial framework, and it differentiated the areas where the vaccination rate is low, moderate and high using s spectrum of color grades. The Data by Sector feature provided data on different sectors such as health, demography, economy and governance among others.using chart models.
The Data by State feature also presented data on crucial economic metrics relating to each state in Nigeria, providing more context to other factors that impacting government decisions, policies, and administrations on Covid-19.
Outcomes and learnings
This is still an ongoing project. Our learnings so far on this project includes the challenges in finding, collecting and verifying the accuracy of data from agency websites. During this time, the Nigerian government banned the use of twitter, which was a key avenue for agencies like the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to announce the publication or availability of new data or other updates and statsitics related to the overall Covid19 vaccine administration efforts due to the platform's speed of information spread. As a major source of information was blocked, so were the beginning of the challenges in validating or getting access to new data since most of these agencies seldom have these data on their portals.
This is under the Africa Data Hub Project supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation