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Views from our Fellows
on Data, Technology & Innovation

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Nicholas Hart

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We Desperately Need Sound Data to Understand COVID Impacts

April 28, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to alter our way of life, more than ever we need valid and reliable data to support decision-making at every level of society. When used responsibly, data analysis helps our country’s leaders determine what policies to implement and can even guide our individual actions.

Donald Rumsfeld eloquently said there are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. The pandemic highlights all three categories. Unfortunately, what we don’t know today about how the coronavirus is impacting the American people – the known unknowns -- is vast.

We all have questions about the virus, its implications, and its effects on our neighbors, our friends, and our families. While there are some questions that can’t be definitively answered today, believe it or not, there is much that we should be able to answer with good research if we start now.

Sound Data to Understand COVID Impacts

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Stan Soloway

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Interview: Removing Barrier to Innovation in COVID-19 Legislation

April 24, 2020

The coronavirus crisis has upended American life, with the federal government and state governments responding with various levels of efficacy. Programs to ameliorate the pandemic’s effects are running out of money, stalling, and have been criticized for inefficiency. With the immediate need ahead of us, perhaps it is time to pilot new approaches to the management of federally funded and state-administered programs.

Stan Soloway wrote a column for GovExec.com recently arguing for the removal of barriers to innovation and he joined GovExec Daily to explain how government can move forward more efficiently.

Interview: Removing Barriers to Innovation

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Kathryn Newcomer

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Video: What Technologies, Investments, and Policy Action Could Help Us Rebuild from COVID-19 on a Global Scale?

April 16, 2020

Technology and investments will play a central role in the rebuilding and recovery from COVID-19. What tech and investments show the greatest promise? What policy actions would help us rebuild more intelligently – locally, nationally, and globally? What is the role of transparency, both in the public and private sector, in supporting good governance with the rebuilding and recovery efforts? In addition, what is the role of privacy – and can we make sure we also persevere privacy in the COVID-19 response and recovery too? Please join the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center on Thursday, April 16 at 12pm EDT for a discussion with internationally recognized author and scientist Dr. David Brin, noted public policy professor and expert Dr. Kathryn Newcomer, and Dr. David Bray on the technologies, investments, and policy actions that could help us rebuild from COVID-19 on a global scale.

Video: Technologies, Investments, and Policy to Rebuild After COVID

COVID-19: Data, Technology & Innovation

Nancy Potok

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Nicholas Hart

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The Pandemic Is Bad, We Need the Capability to Measure Just How Bad

March 25, 2020

If the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic are similar to other global crises historically, there will be long-lasting effects on the businesses, communities, and households for years to come. Understanding just how much the crisis affects our country’s population should be imperative for policymakers. To do so, our country’s research community needs the tools – and the data – to monitor and evaluate the success of our policy interventions to protect public health.

Unfortunately, today the country is ill-equipped for such a task. While ongoing work to implement new federal data laws and practices has put the government on the precipice, the crisis indicates we need much more rapid improvement. The American people will need high-quality and reliable information to understand the current crisis and better prepare for the next one. We cannot wait a decade for that to happen.

The Need For Data During COVID-19