The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) have agreed to jointly invest SEK 232 million (US$28 million) in the Global South AI4COVID Program, which is supported by Pulse Lab Jakarta (a joint data innovation facility of the government of Indonesia and the UN).
The new research program will support multidisciplinary research in low- and middle-income countries focused on evidence-based artificial intelligence (AI) and data science methods to facilitate emergency management and recovery from COVID-19, as well as strengthen readiness for future pandemics. Three specific areas will be targeted: policy research, AI innovations, and training for local researchers. The program will support about 130 researchers in countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America over a period of two to four years. Currently, methods are being developed to collect more inclusive COVID-19 data as well as data on the impacts of the pandemic on socio-economic variables, gender-based violence, and human rights.
"Research depends on large amounts of local and specific data. The data available today for more advanced automated systems with artificial intelligence is often adapted for people in our part of the world, and in many cases not very useful in Sida's partner countries," said Anna Maria Oltorp, Head of Research Collaborations at Sida. "This is something that the research program within AI will address."
Website - The Global South AI4COVID Program
Press release – Sida (in Swedish)