Call for Action: Toward Building the Data Infrastructure and Ecosystem We Need to Tackle Pandemics and Other Dynamic Societal and Environmental Threats

Today, in response to the growing human tragedy caused by the spread of COVID-19, concerned individuals and organizations from around the world launched a call for action aimed at rapidly bolstering society’s ability to leverage data to respond to the current and future pandemics. 

Read and sign the Call for Action here

In particular, seven actions are called for to enable more systematic, sustainable and responsible data collaboration to support decision-making regarding pandemic prevention, monitoring, and response. They include:

  1. Developing and Clarifying Governance Framework to enable the trusted, transparent, and accountable reuse of privately held data in the public interest;
  2. Building capacity of organizations in the public and private sector to reuse and act on data through investments in training, education, and reskilling of relevant authorities;
  3. Establishing data stewards in organizations who can coordinate and collaborate with counterparts on using data in the public’s interest and acting on it;
  4. Building a network of data stewards to coordinate and streamline efforts while promoting greater transparency;
  5. Engaging citizens about how their data is being used so clearly articulate how they want their data to be responsibly used, shared, and protected;
  6. Unlocking funds from a variety of sources to ensure projects are sustainable and can operate long term.
  7.  Promoting technological innovation through collaboration between funders (e.g. governments and foundations) and researchers (e.g. data scientists) to develop and deploy useful, privacy-preserving technologies.

The recommendations are based upon the European Expert Group on Business to Government Data Sharing’s Final Report and efforts undertaken by The GovLab, The World Economic Forum, GSMA’s AI for Impact Taskforce, SDSN TReNDS, Open Data Institute, the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, among others.

A set of concrete pathways to implement the below immediately, in tandem with governments and other actors, is being developed and crowdsourced with the help of the signatories. When signing up please indicate whether you want to be part of the next steps. 


If you are interested in joining the effort either sign HERE or contact Stefaan Verhulst at stefaan @  (Co-Founder of the GovLab).