It was the start of 2020. The pandemic raised its head. International travel created the conditions for the spread of COVID-19. So travel stopped. The pandemic became a domestic problem that needed to be dealt with, and fast. Many people across different fields suddenly found themselves in a situation where they were asked to do something seemingly impossible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for the global statistical community. During times of crisis, the world needed to digitalise quickly, make rapid decisions and collect new types of data to battle the disease. But how to maintain integrity and trust in data when decision-makers need to react fast? These questions and more were discussed at the United Nations World Data Forum 2021 on the 3-6 October in Switzerland.Read more
Mobile positioning data (MPD) has been used in crisis management for years now and it has been proven to be very accurate in monitoring mobility. Near real-time MPD has successfully been used in the past, e.g. after the earthquake in Haiti in 2008, and in Nepal, Vanuatu and The Gambia to monitor disasters or virus spreading. There is increasing interest among policymakers in measuring hazardous events and disasters. National statistical systems collect basic data on population, economy, and other relevant topics necessary for disaster risk management, but the problem is that census and survey data, although reliable, have limitations in measuring large-scale population movements due to logistical constraints in data collection. (Arai et al., 2021)Read more
The sweeping pandemic is not just forcing us to change our daily habits and routine, but has also made governments reevaluate how decisions are made. Data has the power to fuel decision-making, especially when authorities need to make fast choices in rapidly changing conditions in order to save lives. But what if one of the most commonly used collection methods for data suddenly stopped functioning?Read more
In light of the recent global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have put together an overview, which highlights the technical and analytical capabilities of mobile positioning in controlling the spread of the infectious diseases SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Broadly, there are many options. The key question, however, is which of the options would be the most beneficial in controlling the spread of the virus.