Tunisia FAIRifies COVID-19 Data After Deployment of FAIR Data Point


1 min read

By Obinna Osigwe


The data collected by the Tunisian team was gathered through 120 interviews from respondents from Agadez (Niger); Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, Zarzis, Kalibia, Djerba, Kerkennah, Medinine (Tunisia) and Libya. More data was also collected by the team through coding 500 relevant media articles. This data was used to create data repositories, catalogs, datasets, and distribution for the FAIR Data Point (FDP) at Tunisia.


Within five months after Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN-Africa) Initiative was launched in March 2020, the VODAN Africa team at Tunisia led by Dr Mariem Ghardallou and Ms Morgane Wirtz has successfully created a machine-actionable metadata using VODAN-in-a-Box and CEDAR platforms. This was demonstrated in a webinar hosted by Charles Kahiro and Ivy Wachara of Ravel Works Africa on 25th August 2020, participants and observers were drawn from Africa and Europe.

Dr Ghardallou shared the ‘Epidemiological Profile of the COVID-19 Epidemic in Tunisia and ‘The Tunisian Experience in Fighting the Covid-19’ and VODAN in Box: The Tunisian Experience, while Ms Wirtz made a presentation on the ‘Detection of Covid-19 amongst mobile vulnerable groups (migrants and refugees)’.

The data collected by the Tunisian team was gathered through 120 interviews from respondents from Agadez (Niger); Tunis, Sousse, Sfax, Zarzis, Kalibia, Djerba, Kerkennah, Medinine (Tunisia) and Libya. More data was also collected by the team through coding 500 relevant media articles. This data was used to create data repositories, catalogs, datasets, and distribution for the FAIR Data Point (FDP) at Tunisia.

This the 6th machine actionable FDP under the VODAN Africa Initiative. Other existing FDPs are in Uganda (one), Nigeria (two) and Ethiopia (two). More FDPs are expected to go live in the coming weeks, according to the Executive Coordinator, VODAN Africa, Prof Francisca Oladipo, who stated:

“The variety of data in the FDP in Tunisia will help us to test the strength of FAIR data on following the COVID-19 pandemic; if this approach works, this can increase the wealth of information that can be generated and queried. We congratulate our colleagues from Tunisia and are proud to have them spearhead this approach in VODAN.

Also, in attendance was Prof Mirjam van Reisen, the Global Coordinator for VODAN Africa from Tilburg and Leiden University and Bert Meerman, Director at GO FAIR Foundation. They congratulated the Tunisian team for the wonderful presentation and  successful deployment of the FDP. They both thanked ZonMw for the research subsidy allocated to the Tunisia project.

The Virus Outbreak Data Network is a collaboration between Kampala International University, Leiden University, Tilburg University and other universities, which include Addis Ababa University and Mekelle University in Ethiopia, Université de Sousse in Tunisia, Tangaza University in Kenya, Great Zimbabwe University in Zimbabwe and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Olabisi Onabanjo University and Data Science in Nigeria.

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