Monthly Archives: May 2020

A CODATA Connect Webinar on “Data Science Enlightening the Path for Resilient Cities to Fight COVID-19” delivered jointly by Mahesh Harhare and Jairo Espinosa

On 11th May 2020, a webinar titled “Data Science Enlightening the Path for Resilient Cities to Fight COVID-19: Case studies from Pune (India) and Medellín (Colombia)” was organized by the CODATA Connect Alumni and Early Career Network. This was the second webinar in the series on Smart and Resilient Cities, while other webinars are planned in the coming months throughout 2020. Dr. Shaily Gandhi of the CODATA Connect introduced the speakers and theme of the webinar series. This time, the webinar had two speakers, namely, Mr. Mahesh Harhare and Dr. Jairo Espinosa. As introduced by the Chair, the speaker, Mr. Harhare is the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) of the Pune Municipal Corporation in India. He holds M.Tech. in Urban Planning and completed Executive Program in Management from IIM Calcutta. As CRO  for Pune city, he is a part of the Global Resilient Cities Network (GRCN), formerly 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is also a member of the Global Steering Committee of select 10 CROs (out of total 85 CROs worldwide), who would steer the Phase II of the GRCN program across the world.

In his presentation, Mr. Harhare shared his experience in coronavirus infection management at Pune city. Pune is among the top ten Indian cities in terms of the number of infected persons with COVID-19 or SARS-COV-2. The COVID-19 situation and subsequent countrywide lockdown resulted in a high impact effect on cities’ economies. He further demonstrated how the city administration responded to COVID-19 management with an evidence-based decision making utilizing data science applications. In this presentation, he shared city-level data on COVID-19 positive cases, containment zones, medical facilities for the patients, civic facilities for the migrant labourers, senior and differentially abled citizens, contact tracking for the high-risk and low-risk contacts, and finally the deadbody management strategies. Most of the presented data were drawn as on 24th April 2020.

As introduced by the Chair, the speaker Dr. Jairo J. Espinosa is a Full Professor at the National University of Colombia in Medellín. For many years he served as R&D Manager in IPCOS N.V. company in Belgium. He completed Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. His research interests include large scale control systems, intelligent control, nonlinear modeling, model-based predictive control, inferential sensors, and model reduction techniques.

In his presentation titled “Data Science Enlightening the Path for Resilient Cities to Fight COVID-19: A case study of Medellin”, Dr. Espinosa shared data-driven Medellin’s defence tactics monitoring and prediction models, including on the profile of cases of vulnerabilities, monitoring, estimation and prediction of cases, the case locations, social and economical models, and logistics of local hospitals and healthcare institutions. Sharing the transport network capacity and mobility data, the speaker also demonstrated how the Medellin city prepares to end the lockdown and reopen public transport systems and mobility. He concluded with a statement that without vaccine and antiviral medicine, test, data, and models are our best hope for the moment.

Mr. Felix Emeka Anyiam of the CODATA Connect moderated the Question and Answer session, selecting questions posed by online participants using the webinar question tool. Some of the questions were related to how the city-level administrators are prepared to deal with the social and economic interests of the citizens and industries. During the Q&A Session, Mr. Harhare briefly discussed the Pune smart city project and how it contributed to COVID-19 management in the city. Dr. Espinosa briefly narrated how the city-level administrators in Medellin are managing to protect their high-risk, vulnerable communities, amidst the socio-economic uncertainties.

The session was concluded with a vote of thanks presented by Shaily. She also announced the forthcoming activities of the , which include an  for the CODATA alumni and early career professionals.

Prepared by:
Anup Kumar Das
(Jawaharlal Nehru University, India,

A CODATA Connect Webinar on “Sustainable and Resilient Urban Ecologies: Possible Lessons from Recent Australian Bushfires” by Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson

On 31st March 2020, a webinar titled “Sustainable and Resilient Urban Ecologies: Possible Lessons from Recent Australian Bushfires” was organized by the CODATA Connect Alumni and Early Career Network. Dr. Shaily Gandhi of the CODATA Connect introduced the speaker and theme of the webinar series. This was the first Webinar in the series on Smart and Resilient Cities, while other webinars are planned in the coming months throughout 2020. As introduced, the speaker Ms. Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson is a data and information ethicist passionate about shaping future digital and data infrastructures. Based in Sydney, Australia, she is an active contributor to local and international initiatives to humanize data science. Theresa’s award-winning work as an educator and as a researcher for the past twenty years engages with the ever-evolving relationship between people and emerging technologies through transdisciplinary and value-sensitive lenses. Her scholarly work involves the fundamental concepts of uncertainty, relevance and resilience. Before her academic career, Theresa worked as an analyst in research centres and think tanks. She has also worked as a diplomat and environmental education officer.

Theresa began her talk introducing the Sydney basin, its urban ecology and surrounding ecosystems. Located on the eastern coast, Sydney is the largest metropolitan city in Australia, accommodating about one-fifth of the country’s population. Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world but has third-lowest population density, just under three persons per square kilometer. Sydney’s urban boundary expanded rapidly in the last 100 years to accommodate the country’s growing population. The recent bushfires in the surrounding forests, national parks and peri-urban forests posed much higher risks and uncertainty to the city. Although the Sydney metropolitan area was spared from physical harm, the bushfires led to water stress, drought, a higher level of air pollution, warmer temperature, and other economical-ecological uncertainties to the local communities and city dwellers. Then the speaker talked about the city-level preparedness, resilience, community engagement, and compassionate behaviours of the local community in mitigating the sudden environmental hazards. There were significant instances of community members’ active involvement in the protection of distressed wildlife. Then the speaker presented the visions laid out in the City of Sydney’s Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy and how the urban and regional communities re-evaluate the meaning of ‘sustainable’ and ‘resilient’ in the changing scenario. Theresa also described a new framework, named the Resilience, Adaptation Pathways and Transformation Approach (RAPTA), which is a guiding principle for designing, implementing, and assessing interventions for sustainable futures, as introduced by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia (CSIRO). The speaker presented a summary of lessons learned; namely, data is never complete, information never certain, but the action is still required; Indecision in light of the indeterminacy of information is a threat to the resilience of urban ecology; Building trust and mitigating risk critical to resilience; and Design WITH the city rather than FOR the city. She also discussed how data and information could play a significant role in tiding over the risks, vulnerability and uncertainties in extreme situations such as the Australian bushfires.

Mr. Felix Emeka Anyiam of the CODATA Connect Group moderated the Question and Answer session and was assigned to obtain questions from the online participants keyed into the webinar question handle.  Some of the questions were related to how the global community would be prepared to deal with such kind of huge risks, vulnerability, and uncertainties. The speaker emphasized community involvement while creating local and national preparedness plans. She mentioned that Data and information governance are also crucial to mitigate such conditions, and Data and information professionals should be handholding with the public policymakers, researchers, and development practitioners in creating sustainable urban futures across the world.

The session was concluded with a vote of thanks presented by Shaily. She also announced the forthcoming activities of the CODATA Connect, which include an Essay Writing Competition on “Open Data Challenges to Address Global and Societal Issues” for the CODATA alumni and early career professionals. 

Prepared by:
Anup Kumar Das & Iris Diana Uy
(Jawaharlal Nehru University, India,;
University of the Philippines – Diliman, Philippines,

April 2020: Publications in the Data Science Journal

Correction: ‘Developing a Research Data Policy Framework for All Journals and Publishers
: Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Natasha Simons, Azhar Hussain, Rebecca Grant, Simon Goudie

Developing an Open Data Portal for the ESA Climate Change Initiative
Author: Philip Kershaw, Kevin Halsall, Bryan N. Lawrence, Victoria Bennett, Steve Donegan, Alan Iwi, Martin Juckes, Eduardo Pechorro, Ruth Petrie, Joe Singleton, Ag Stephens, Alison Waterfall, Antony Wilson, Alexander Wood
Title: Digital Objects – FAIR Digital Objects: Which Services Are Required?
: Ulrich Schwardmann

Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter: May 2020 Edition

A Data Ecosystem to defeat COVID-19
Bapon Fakhruddin discusses why the COVID-19 pandemic requires thinking and decision making supported by a data ecosystem which looks much further into the future than previous short-term approaches.

In Low-Income Countries Fundamental Data Issues Remain for COVID-19 Response
How are LICs responding to COVID-19 and what are some of the issues we need to bear in mind when using new data sources to respond to the pandemic in these contexts?

In the Fight Against COVID-19: What Do We Know and To Whom Can We Turn For Answers
What do policymakers and the general public need to know about the data available (or lack of) and how can we best remain informed? 

A Blog from ISC-WDS: knowledge service for disaster risk reduction: a practice using big data technology
Under the dual influences of global climate change and human activities, the frequency and the intensity of natural disasters have been growing in recent years, and resulting in increasingly serious disaster losses. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is thus a common and urgent global challenge

Why open science is critical in combatting COVID-19
The OECD is compiling data, analysis and recommendations on a range of topics to address the emerging health, economic and societal crisis, facilitate co-ordination, and contribute to the necessary global action when confronting this enormous collective challenge.

Conflict prevention in the era of climate change: Adapting the UN to climate-security risks
This report aims to support the United Nations (UN) and its partners in developing climate-sensitive conflict prevention approaches.

COVID-19 small business continuity and recovery planning toolkit
The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a vicious circle of vulnerabilities across the private sector. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and partners published a toolkit to provide business continuity and recovery planning support to affected small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

ESCAP: Asia and the Pacific SDG progress report 2020
This report analyses trends as well as data availability for monitoring progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Asia and the Pacific and its five subregions. It assesses gaps which must be closed to achieve the goals by 2030.

UNESCO: World Water Development Report 2020
The 2020 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR 2020) entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’ aims at helping the water community to tackle the challenges of climate change and informing the climate change community about the opportunities that improved water management offers in terms of adaptation and mitigation.

Disaster Recovery Framework Guide
This is a revised and updated version of the Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) guide that was originally issued in 2015 has been published in March 2020.
The guide is intended as a practice-based, results-focused tool to assist governments and partners in planning for resilient post-disaster recovery following a large-scale disaster.

COVID-19 – Transition from response to recovery (T+T) – Webinar – 12 May
The pandemic is unchartered territory for most of us but responding to it is business-as-usual for disaster risk reduction specialists. Tonkin + Taylor, in partnership with Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), Committee on Data (CODATA) of the International Science Council (ISC), has brought together four of the world’s leading disaster response experts to share the lessons learned from large-scale disasters and how they can be applied to the coronavirus pandemic recovery.

COVID-19: Opportunities for Resilient Recovery – Webinar – 7 May
The webinar will aim to highlight lessons learned from past disaster recovery events, and consider how countries can start preparing for a recovery that is climate-sensitive, inclusive and contributes to global efforts to build more resilient systems that are better placed to prevent such crises in the future.

Data-Driven Decision-Maker: Business Analytics Executive Overview – May 11 2020 – May 11 2021
This course will focus on understanding key analytics concepts and the breadth of analytic possibilities. Together, the class will explore dozens of real-world analytics problems and solutions across most major industries and business functions. The course will also touch on analytic technologies, architectures, and roles from business intelligence to data science, and from data warehouses to data lakes. And the course will wrap up with a discussion of analytics trends and futures.

Call for paper – 12th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI20), DDI – The Basis of Managing the Data Life Cycle
The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences. For the European DDI User Conference 2020, we are seeking presentations, talks, papers, posters on all things DDI.