A Platform for Evaluation and Analysis of COVID-19 Harmonised data (PEACH)

The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a global pandemic presents a serious health threat to many low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) and the livelihoods of its people. The need for accurate, real-time data is urgent, so that health policy and planning can be updated to combat the threat. Obtaining those data requires innovation in data collection and aggregation, especially under lockdown restrictions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science (DS) innovations are needed to get accurate, real-time data, using multiple data sources. In many LMICs, there are methodological gaps in data integration and a lack of information and research capacity to make informed decisions and guide public health policy. The absence of data makes it difficult to identify vulnerable populations and to give them appropriate information for their health.

This project proposes to develop the key elements of a coordinated Pan-African COVID-19 data ecosystem. We will build a robust suite of data standards and technologies, diverse data integration methodologies, using the power of AI and DS for analysis and oversight through a trusted governance and policy environment.

This project will use data from two African countries – Kenya and Malawi, which adopted different strategies in combating the pandemic during the COVID-19 pandemic, to:

  1. Develop and build a network with various stakeholders, including data producers, for the exchange of information, experience and knowledge and more importantly to support data acquisition and management, governance and reporting structure and knowledge translation to ensure sustainability.
  2. Develop a data tracking system to find and utilize data for evidence-informed policy decision-making.
  3. Create a common data model (CDM) using cutting-edge implementation mechanisms built on existing methods that have already been used to harmonize data in Africa.
  4. Use the datahub to show how COVID-19 is affecting transmission dynamics, its impact on health, education, work and transport. It will highlight which interventions (social distancing, curfews, work, travel and social restrictions) are effective and where they most effective.
  5. Enhance methodological capacity of data scientists and develop communication strategies for the public and policy and decision makers.

Analyses of the data will include judicious data-mining with AI algorithms. We will scale dissemination of information to enhance decision-making that guides the development and implementation of optimum strategies to reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.

The harmonized data represents a global public good and will deliver insights for evidence-based answers on key questions about COVID-19.

The figure below shows how PEACH will be implemented.