VODAN Africa Team Set to Speak at the International FAIR Convergence Symposium

2 min read

By Obinna Osigwe

The VODAN African Team is set to share their experiences, lessons and insights gathered during the 1st phase of the project at the International FAIR Convergence Symposium billed to hold from 27th November to 4th December, 2020.

The International Symposium is convened by CODATA and GO FAIR, and will provide a unique forum for advancing international and cross-domain convergence around FAIR. According to the organizers, the outcome of this event “will directly inform the CODATA Decadal Programme 'Making data work for cross-domain grand challenges’ and the GO FAIR community’s convergence towards bottom-up development of the Internet of FAIR data and services globally” 

This Symposium is a great platform to tell the VODAN Africa story of how the team succeeded  in using machine-actionable FAIR Data Points to FAIRify clinical and non-clinical COVID-19 data. The achievements also include the installation of 10 FAIR Data points (FDPs)  across Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) Netherlands that allows algorithms to find COVID-19 data over the internet. 

The VODAN Africa Team will speak on 

  • VODAN Africa Horizons For Health Management (Dec2, 2020) -  (The panel considers the possibility to extend the WHO-eCRF based implementation-architecture to expand to inclusion of patient data for multiple purposes, based on the health data requirements of localized storage and curation under locally relevant regulatory frameworks).
  • VODAN Beyond COVID-19 (Dec 2nd, 2020) - (This panel discusses the prospect of expanding VODAN to infectious diseases more generally and what tools would be needed to achieve this).
  • FAIRifying Vulnerable People During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Dec 2nd)  - The panel discusses the spread of the disease among vulnerable communities and how FAIR has been a tool for increasing understanding of the spread among vulnerable communities that are outside the health system and living in informal settlements and slum areas.
  • FAIR Equivalence Tool (Dec 3rd)- The papers submitted will report on the application of FAIR Equivalence in various countries, such as Uganda, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan. The objective is to assess the value of the FAIR Equivalence tool in different settings and assess its broader applicability.
  • Data Stewardship Competencies Curricula Development (Dec 4th) - The workshop is organised as part of a programme to develop curricula in computer science and data science related to supporting FAIR - and especially FAIR data in the context of science and Virus Outbreak monitoring from the Virus Outbreak Data Network.

 The Virus Outbreak Data Network is a collaboration between universities, health ministries and Data Science & Artificial Intelligence hubs in Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe. Members of the Africa Implementation network include: Kampala International University, Leiden University and other universities, 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. The VODAN network collaborates with researchers based in Asia, particularly in China (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Indonesia and Kazakhstan. The Vodan network also collaborates with researchers in the US, particularly from the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC)

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