Category Archives: CODATA Connect

A CODATA Connect Webinar on “Trust Building for Effective Data Sharing as the Global Community Recovers from COVID-19” by Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson

On 25th May 2020, a webinar titled “Trust Building for Effective Data Sharing as the Global Community Recovers from COVID-19” was organized by the CODATA Connect Alumni and Early Career Network. This was the fourth webinar in the series on Smart and Resilient Cities, while other webinars are planned in the coming months throughout 2020. Dr. Shaily Gandhi of CODATA Connect introduced the speaker and theme of the webinar series. 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 matter of trust in everyday life. Based on the literature, she opined, “Trust implies a projection; it involves a judgment that mobilizes both rational and emotional components, direct and indirect experiences.” She further stated that “Trust today is granted on two distinct attributes: competence, delivering on promises, and ethical behaviour, doing the right thing and working to improve society.” In this context, she explained ‘Building Trust’ in four quadrants, namely, ‘Reassurance’ encompassing communication and professionalism, ‘Resilience’ involving persistence and creativity, ‘Relationships’ embracing building and maintaining connections, and ‘Reflection’ involving time to think and test. She opined that trust-building is a matter of personal, local, and political choices. Through an audience poll, she demonstrated that the key to creating a trustworthy organization involves the government and legal frameworks, leadership from within the organization, governance frameworks within the organization, societal pressure, and citizen activism in equal measure.  Then she presented evidence from the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 survey that shows trust restores balance and enables partnership. Among those who trust, institutions are more closely aligned. She opined that there is a need to demonstrate trustworthiness for tiding over the uncertainties and vulnerabilities in extreme situations such as the post-COVID19 world order. Building trust is needed from inside that involves working within the community and for the community, while accepting risk, responsibility, and accountability help in mitigating risks. She then presented her model of locating, trust-building, and ethical data practice in a sociotechnical framework, where she emphasized the gradual progression toward establishing legitimacy, working towards acceptance, establishing credibility, gaining and maintaining trust, and codesign. She elaborates on the ways forward in building public-trust with wellbeing as our driver, encompassing 4Rs, namely, Reassurance, Resilience,  Relationships, and Reflection. She brought in the insight from indigenous data sovereignty and indigenous data governance that the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA) promotes with the #BeFAIRandCARE campaign. Here FAIR Data supplements CARE data principles that stand for the collective benefit, authority to control, responsibility, and ethics. In her closing remark, she emphasized that public-trust is not lightly given; it is earned over time and is an ongoing process of engagement with the community.

Mr. Felix Emeka Anyiam of the CODATA Connect 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 the live surveys Theresa was doing using Menti.com. A participant commented on the Trust Barometer 2020 survey concerning some governments’ competency in building trust. 

The session was concluded with a vote of thanks presented by Shaily. She also announced the forthcoming activities of the CODATA Connect, including an Essay Writing Competition on “Open Data Challenges to Address Global and Societal Issues”, launching our second webinar series “Research Skill Development”,  and Smart and Sustainable Cities Datathon for the CODATA alumni and early career professionals.

Prepared by:

Anup Kumar Das
(Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, anup_csp@jnu.ac.in)

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, anup_csp@jnu.ac.in)

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, anup_csp@jnu.ac.in;
University of the Philippines – Diliman, Philippines, iris.diana.uy@gmail.com)