The VODAN Africa

Fighting the COVID-19 with FAIR Data

About VODAN


About VODAN
What is the Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN)?
VODAN is a GO FAIR Implementation Network set up to help fight the COVID-19 Corona virus, that is causing a worldwide epidemic. The Implementation Network VODAN is a step to establish the Internet of FAIR Data and Services.

FAIR stands for human and machine-readable digital data objects that are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Accessibility is fully compliant with regulatory and governance frameworks, including personal data protection and ethical considerations based on the principle to Do no Harm.

Making data and metadata FAIR ensures that these data are discoverable on the Internet of FAIR Data and Services. Central tot his approach is the establishment of FAIR Data Points (FDPs), for COVID-19 relevant digital data objects. Opening up FAIR (meta)data by publishing them on a FDP allows algorithms to search these (meta)data, looking for patterns. The Internet of FAIR Data and Services is a distributed data discovery network; data are NOT moved, but algorithms going over the internet can find the data.

About VODAN Africa


VODAN Africa is the Africa Implementation Network of Universities and Hospitals in Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia and Zimbabwe; as well as Professors and graduate students from the University of Leiden supported by the GO FAIR Foundation. The initiative is funded by the Philips Foundation to enable distributed access to the critical data needed from Africa and the rest of the world to fight and contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The Virus Outbreak Data Africa Network will ensure that medical data are discoverable by computers and accessible under governance regulations. Data will not be displaced as data are visited by the algorithms based on the access accorded to the data by data stewards. 

The Implementation Network for Africa is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of Kampala International University, Dr. Mouhamed Mpezamihigo. Other partner universities include Moi University, and Tangaza University in Kenya; the Great Zimbabwe University, University de Sousse, Tunisia, and Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria; Mekelle University and the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia.

The first step is the virtual Training for Trainers trajectory, free of charge and online on virtual platforms where data analysts will be guided to establish FAIR Data Points, to ensure data are linked and useable for global corona-relevant analytics, followed by AI powered data analytics.

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This Training of Trainers (ToT) is set up to provide support to data stewards so that they can help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first course will focus on awareness, and include subjects like: what does FAIR data stewardship entail? What are FAIR data? What is a Semantic Data model? What is a FAIR Data point?

This will be followed by a course how to set up a FAIR data point. Other courses will follow shortly.

The training sub objectives are to:

  • Help prepare ministries and institutions for publishing FAIR (meta)data regarding the pandemic;
  • Ensure that universities and institutions with medical data have capacities to assist the navigation of the crisis with quality data;
  • Ensure that data stewardship is carried out under strict adherence to the governance and regulatory framework of the country and institution where the data belong;
  • Enable data to be analysed in combination with data available globally;
  • Ensure quality data for AI solutions to help deal with the pandemic.
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The training is intended for data scientists and computer scientists, working in connection for medical and health service providers, the Ministry of Health, and other relevant institutions and companies.

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This training for trainers can be organized in all countries, but focusses for the moment particularly on Africa and Asia.

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The Training of Trainers course is set up in such a way that participants can follow the training online, with maximum flexibility.

The course is provided and set up by the experts of the GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office (GFISCO).

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The ToT is set up in such a way that participants can follow the training on-line, with maximum flexibility.

The Training is provided and set up by the experts of the GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office (GFISCO)

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The participants of the ToT will be able to receive assistance from the Technical Support Team who are students in Computer Science/Data Science of Leiden Institute of Computer Science: Mariam Basajja Uganda (coordinator, PhD candidate), Kudakwashe Chindoza, Zimbabwe (PhD aspirant candidate), Aliya Aktau, Kazakhstan, (master student), Putu Hadi, Indonesia (master student) and QiQi Zhang, China (master student).

The Technical Support Team is backed by the Senior Supervision Team, faculty in Computer Science/Data Science.



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Implementation Networks help build, train and also deploy the Internet of FAIR Data and Services.

  • Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN): Implementation Network on COVID-19
  • Implementation Network Ambassadors: Introduction and training of new participants
  • Implementation Network Africa: Introduction of participants in Africa-specific reality
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The participants of the training are invited to participate via different mediums (WhatsApp, ORCID, OSF and INs).

The training modules will be provided in accessible format for participants with low bandwidth.

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Institutional Support for VODAN-Africa


Special Events


Uganda KIU FDP Deployment

History was made on 22 July 2020 at 14:14 CET as the first COVID-19 Computer-Readable FAIR Data point of Observational Data was installed in Uganda, Africa.

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GAIC PhD exchange with LUMC

On Monday 6 July, 2010, between 13.00 - 14.45 (Dutch time), a selected group of researchers and PhD candidates held a seminar focused on FAIR-Data in the context of COVID-19.

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VODAN-Africa News


  • 07/28/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

On this Metadata for Machine Workshop, we reviewedthe installation of VODAN in a Box (VIB) for Kampala International University (KIU), M4M Metadata Components, and the FAIR Data Point as infrastructure.

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  • 07/21/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In this workshop, Dr Erik Shultes and Dr Luiz Bonino, introduces VODAN in a Box, an an easy-to-deploy solution for capturing, storing and exposing data and metadata related to virus outbreaks. Support for local deployment of the complete solution, also data and metadata stay on wherever their owners/creators decide

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  • 07/15/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the first presentation, Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD, International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office demonstrated the deployment of the Kampala International University FAIR Data Point.

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  • 07/07/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

During this workshop, we took a deeper look into the nine (9) components of the Fair Data Points (FDPs). These components guide the configuration of the FDPs.

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  • 06/30/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

Here we explored the configuration of the VODAN Africa Fair Data Points. The technical session was anchored by Dr Erik Schultes, the International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office.

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  • 06/23/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the 9th webinar for the Metadata for Machine Workshop moderated by Charles Kahiro, the VODAN Africa team took stock of the journey so far since 28th April 2020 when the M4M workshop started.

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  • 06/16/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the this Metadata for Machine (M4M) workshop, Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office reviewed the next phase of the M4M Webinar Series

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  • 06/09/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

On the 7th Metadata for Machine (M4M), we looked at the FAIRification of patient records, ontologies, linked data, and the World Health Organization Case Report Form (WHO-CRF).

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  • 06/02/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

On the 6th Metadata for Machine (M4M) Webinar Series, Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office, and the VODAN Africa team reviewed the status of FAIR Data Point Installations in Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tunisia

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  • 05/26/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

During this workshop, Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD, International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office trained the VODAN Africa team on FDP deployment blocks

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  • 05/21/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

On the final session of the VODAN Africa Webinar Series, we delved into the 'Role of Data in Decision Making', as it relates to the current COVID-19 crisis with a focus on Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Our Guest Speaker, Chair of the VODAN Africa Implementation Network, Dr. Mohammed Mpezamihigo, spoke on the VODAN Africa initiative now and beyond COVID- 19.

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  • 05/19/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the fourth session of M4M Workshop, Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD, International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office reviewed the status of the FAIR Data Point Installation in the various participating institutions.

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  • 05/14/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

During the second part of the VODAN Africa Webinar Series, we explore the role of data and data science in decision making, as it relates to the current COVID-19 crisis, social distancing in slums and how VODAN-Africa can contribute to understanding uneven effects and serve data-driven policies.

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  • 05/12/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

During the M4M Workshop Week 3, Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD, International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office focused on the formation of country-based FAIR Data Point (FDP) deployment teams and the progress report on the deployment of FDPs in participating countries.

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  • 05/07/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

In this webinar series hosted by Christine KirkPatrick from the San Diego Supuercomputer Center, presentations were made by Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, Chair, VODAN Africa Implementation Network (IN); Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Reisen, Global Coordinator; Prof. Francisca Oladipo, Executive Coordinator VODAN Africa.

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  • 05/05/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the second Metadata for Machine Workshop, Dr Erik Schultes, showed how Metadata augments the FAIR Data Point (FDP). He also explained that Adding M4M metadata components that customize the FDP to reflect the needs, policies, regulations of your community.

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  • 04/30/2020 04:00 PM
  • Online Event

In this Workshop, Dr Luiz Bonino guided the VODAN Africa team on the installation of FAIR Data Point, a REST API and Web Client for creating, storing, and serving FAIR metadata

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  • 04/28/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the inaugural Metadata for Machine Workshop (M4M), Dr. Erik Schultes, PhD International Science Coordinator, GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office gave an introduction to the FAIR guiding principles and FAIR Data Points.

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  • 04/22/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

In a three part series hosted by Christine KirkPatrick from the San Diego Supercomputer Center tagged, "Fighting COVID-19 by Mining Insights from Heterogeneous Datasets". The speakers were Peter Rose and Ilya Zaslavsky (SDSC, University of California, San Diego), Iris Shen, Principal Data Scientist (Microsoft Academic Team, Microsoft); Natalie Meyers, E-Research Librarian (Navari Center for Digital Scholarship, Hesburgh Library); Eric Morgan (Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame)

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  • 04/21/2020 03:00 PM
  • Online Event

This is the inaugural meeting of VODAN Africa. Here discussion were made on the Training of Trainers (ToT) for the VODAN Africa Project. Country leads from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tunisia and Uganda made important presentations.

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  • 04/15/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

In a two part session hosted by Christine KirkPatrick of SanDiego Supercomputer Centre, Albert Mons and Luiz Bonino gave an insightful presentation on "VODAN: FAIR Data in action". In the 2nd session, Sergio Baranzini and Sharat Israni (University of California, San Francisco) did an expose on "The SARS-Cov-2-SPOKE Molecular Explorer: A Public Knowledge Graph Visualization Tool."

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  • 04/08/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

Prof Mirjam Van Reisen, the Global Coordinator VODAN Africa gave an outstanding presentation on the Data Stewardship Training of Trainers (ToT) programme. Click to read more...

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  • 04/01/2020 07:00 PM
  • Online Event

In the presentation, Prof. Dr. Barend Mons, President of CODATA and Founder of GO FAIR gave an insightful presentation on Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN) and the use of FAIR Data Points as-a-service for data-driven disease outbreak tracking and research.

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Repositories


VODAN-Africa In the News


The duo of Francisca Oladipo and Mirjam van Reisen, describes the VODAN Africa mid-term journey in the GO FAIR newsletter

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Mekelle University in Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia takes to their website to announce their partnership in the Virus Outbreak Data Network Implementation Network for Africa

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The Vice-Chancellor of KIU, Dr. Mohammed Mpezamihigo was a guest at the NBS breakfast show on 04/16/2020 where he spoke about the KIU support for VODAN-Africa and his roles as the Chair of the Implementation network for VODAN-Africa

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The Vice Chancellor of KIU discusses the University's adoption of eLearning to keep the University running during the COVID-19 lockdown

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The Vice-Chancellor of KIU, speaks about the VODAN-Africa initiative

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IDN -indepthnews "The public research university in the Netherlands has joined universities in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe in the Virus Outbreak Data Africa Network (VODAN) FAIR Data initiative."

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Computer scientists across the continent collaborate to establish connected data to strengthen analytics to fight COVID-19

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The GO FAIR Foundation, Kampala International University and the Philips Foundation have teamed up in an effort to enable distributed access to the critical data needed from Africa to fight and contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Some experts believe that the EU's current approach to data collection may be missing an opportunity to fight the coronavirus outbreak

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Vocabulary


Further Reading


  • Constituent article on the FAIR Guiding principles
Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18
https://www.nature.com/articles/sdata201618
  • FAIR Special Data Intelligence, MIT:
http://www.data-intelligence-journal.org/
  • Internet of FAIR Data and Services:
https://www.go-fair.org/resources/internet-fair-data-services/
  • Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN):
https://www.go-fair.org/implementation-networks/overview/vodan/
  • Implementation Networks:
https://www.go-fair.org/implementation-networks/
  • Response scenarios:
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf
  • A FHIR RDF dataset for COVID-19 research: a dataset of 13202 journal articles.  This dataset extends the CORD-19 dataset (on which it is based) by adding several semantic annotations. 
https://github.com/fhircat/CORD-19-on-FHIR
  • WHO Data base articles on COVID-19
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
  • Real-time detailed map
https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Links by John Graybeal from CEDAR
* CEDAR Web site: https://metadatacenter.org
* References: https://metadatacenter.org/references
* Making Metadata with CEDAR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inyf5hOCwAU
* Publishing Metadata with CEDAR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HnHmihzEdQ
* CEDAR COVID instance example in OpenView: https://bit.ly/openview-covid-metadata-example
* CEDAR COVID instance example in CEDAR: https://bit.ly/cedar-covid-instance-example
* CEDAR COVID template in OpenView: https://bit.ly/openview-covid19-template
* CEDAR COVID template: https://bit.ly/cedar-covid19-template
* Application: https://cedar.metadatacenter.org

Partners


VODAN-Africa Who is Who


Mouhamad Mpezamihigo


Chair of Implementation Network

Vice-Chancellor of Kampala International University and the Chair of the Implementation Network (IN) for VODAN Africa

Francisca Oladipo


Executive Coordinator

Professor of Computing and Director Research at Kampala International University

Mirjam van Reisen


Global Coordinator

Professor of Computing for Society at Leiden University; Chair International Relations, Innovation and care at Tilburg University; Member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs, The Netherlands, Coordinator Research Network, Globalisation, Accessibility, Innovation and Care and Director and Secretary General of EEPA (Brussels)

Fredrick Obwanda


Project Manager

Executive Director, Africa Development Foundation

Mariam Basajja


Technical Coordinator

PhD Student at the Computer Science institute of Leiden University

Bayo Adekambi


Convener, Data Science Nigeria

Reginald Nalugala


Coordinator(Kenya)

Lecturer of Social Transformation at Tangaza University College, Grassroot Wellness Campaign Convener

Sakinat Tijani Folorunso


Coordinator(Nigeria)

Lecturer, Olabisi Onabanjo University, and convener, WiDS OOU

Araya Abrha Medhanyie


Coordinator(Ethiopia)

Associate Professor of Public Health and Head of the Research Center for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH), Mekelle University. Coordinator, the Digital Health Research and Development

Wondimu Ayele Manamo


Coordinator(Ethiopia)

Assistant Professor for Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Health Informatics Capacity Building and Mentorship Project Director at School of Public Health in Addis Ababa University

Getu Tadele Taye


Coordinator(Ethiopia)

Lecturer, Department of Health Informatics and Data Scientist in the Digital Health Research and Development Center at School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University

Mariem Ghardallou


Coordinator, Tunisia

Medical Doctor, Quality Healthcare Expert and Associate Professor, College of Medicine, University of Sousse, Tunisia

VODAN Africa FDP Deployment Timeline


Uganda KIU FDP Deployment

History was made on 22 July 2020 at 14:14 CET as the first COVID-19 Computer-Readable FAIR Data point of Observational Data was installed in Uganda, Africa.

Learn MoreJul 22, 2020

Data Science Nigeria FDP Deployment

On 04 August 2020, VODAN Africa installed the second COVID-19 Computer-Readable FAIR Data point of Observational Data was installed by Data Science Nigeria

Learn MoreAug 04, 2020

IBBUL, Nigeria FDP Deployment

On 11 August 2020, the third COVID-19 FAIR Data Point was installed at the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL) Nigeria

Learn MoreAug 11, 2020