The response to the current COVID-19 pandemic requires unprecedented interventions and global action. LSHTM has a long history of staff, students and alumni supporting outbreaks and emergencies and this one is no different.
In April we launched a network of volunteers, staff, students and alumni, to devote small amounts of time to crowd-sourced work. Crowd-sourcing splits large datasets/tasks into very small pieces. By having hundreds or thousands of people this allows you to clean or enter very large amounts of data quickly.
We were blown away by the response. Over 1,200 people volunteered to support our projects.
The initial project requires checking datasets about what interventions have been carried out in every country in the world. The dataset is being produce by LSHTM for WHO and all other responders. It requires checking a source page on the internet, checking dates, and some basic information about the intervention.
A second project carried out a rapid micro-survey in which volunteers looked up information about COVID-19 testing policies, contact tracing and syndromic surveillance in their home country. We were able to collect data on over 180 countries in a weekend.
Another recent project involves translating a survey about COVID-19, TB and HIV into a range of languages. The nature of the global pandemic makes having people from each country, with as many languages as possible, more important than ever.
It really does not require a lot of time to make a difference, this is the whole reason crowd-sourcing is so useful. We are still recruiting volunteers and hope to get as many people as possible to join up, even if you can’t help our initial projects. We need people who can spare an hour or two, often at weekend. We are particularly short of people from Eastern Europe and the Euro-Mediterranean regions. Every volunteer activity makes a big difference.
To build this network please sign up via this booking form.
We are managing this project via Microsoft Teams so you will need to set-up a Teams account. This is free, straightforward and quick to do. It will save time if you sign-up to volunteer with the email account linked to your Microsoft Teams account.
Information about how you can support, promote and share LSHTM’s COVID-19 Response work is available here.
Thank you for your amazing support,
Professor Chris Grundy
Alice Perry, Head of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving