The global response to Covid-19 has highlighted the need for transparency. Government responses have relied on modelling to varying degrees. This has raised several challenges on the underlying assumptions, data, inferences, and modelling approaches.

There are still questions millions of people worldwide are asking themselves on the impact of the pandemic. What is happening around me, what is likely to happen next and what actions could alter the path to a better outcome?

The need for transparency

Strasys, in collaboration with modellers and developers, want to ‘democratise’ COVID policy by putting COVID modeling in the hands of millions of citizens, to help answer those questions.

Most government communications have taken a high-level and generalised approach e.g. using top-down national numbers and simplistic remarks about the “R” factor. We are also seeing the rate of progression and tactical responses differ across not only nations but specific localities.

In determining future impact, it is critical to understand the local dynamics of modelling COVID at the community level and making the process transparent.

An easy to use model

The Covid-19 localisation modelling group, is the brainchild of  Maurice Glucksman and Dr Kim Warren. The initiative brings together a team of expert modellers, supported by disease experts, to create an easy-to use model of COVID-19 outbreaks that can be ‘localised’ to any defined region.

The developers are working with Foundations, NGOs, Healthcare Organisations, Governments and Commercial organisations to complement other pandemic-strategy efforts and understand issues relating to local areas that national models can’t address.

The model is accessible online and it:

  • relies on published research evidence,
  • has been matched to models used by Governments,
  • has been calibrated to a wide range of localities – from cities like Jakarta and New York to smaller towns to city-slums and their surrounding regions,
  • is totally transparent – every item is shown as time charts and every element can be seen and checked.

Resources to support localisation

The initiative is targeted to those who want to better understand the policy development and impact on society, from government institutions to individuals, especially young people, so that anyone can answer those questions.

A set of resources have been developed and made available to support this initiative. A short online course at covid-19-localisation-modelling.thinkific.com – designed by young people who actually used the model for their communities – explains basic epidemic principles and how to use the model. The website also contains tutorials, presentations, reference material and success stories.

The course and model are free for personal use. If you have a commercial need, please contact localisationvolunteer.mg@gmail.com for permission.