Alternative Use of Traditional Data against COVID-19

Pulse Lab Jakarta

Project Description

At the end of September 2020 Indonesia had reported almost 275,000 COVID-19 cases since the first confirmed case in early March. It is the second highest number of cases in South-East Asia, after the Philippines. With numbers of people infected on the rise, parts of Indonesia have brought back the soft-lockdown more commonly known as PSBB, an acronym for Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar (Large Scale Social Restrictions). 

Pulse Lab Jakarta worked with the Jabar Digital Service (JDS) of the West Java provincial government, and counterparts in the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) to improve the efficiency and accuracy of data and technology-based policy making to respond to the virus.

Several factors contribute to the spread of COVID-19, such as the movement of people. However, mobility by itself (coupled with disease incidence data) is not enough, and two areas with similar mobility and similar disease incidence might end up with varying outcomes based on other factors such as population density. To have a better understanding of the transmission potential of each area, there is a need for data that has information on transmission factors, preferably at the smallest granular level to support the localised intervention mechanism.

This project used data from the Village Potential census (PODES), accessed via Bapennas, to identify areas in West Java where micro-scale social restrictions can be implemented. For this work two relevant metrics were derived from PODES: (i) transmission potential index and (ii) transmission risk. 

  • Transmission potential index is the baseline measure representing the possible capacity of coronavirus transmission in each village before hitting the first case. 
  • Transmission risk related to COVID-19 analysis is an ex-post measure, where villages without cases are assigned a zero risk regardless of their baseline score and villages where cases are confirmed are assigned  positive risks associated with the number of cases and the baseline prospect. 

The project developed a dashboard (part of which is also publicly available) which combines PODES data, and other data types, to identify, in real-time, places in West Java that can become potential COVID-19 hotspots. The insights can be used to inform further policy interventions throughout West Java, and could be replicated to other locations.

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