Today, governments across the world are facing multiple, often simultaneous , threats to social, political, economic, and environmental systems. Globally, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated health processes and systems as well as economic conditions; the war between Russia and Ukraine has put a strain on energy and cost of living crises; and a changing climate has led to a marked increase in record-breaking heat waves, droughts, and other natural disasters in 2022 alone.
At PUBLIC, we believe in the potential for data to support governments to respond to multidimensional crises; track their effects over time; and predict future developments. This, in turn, will improve governments’ ability to develop targeted interventions that facilitate multi-stakeholder coordination and yield successful outcomes.
In this piece, we highlight international initiatives focused on experimenting with data and AI to develop innovative solutions to manage and mitigate crises. For an extended analysis evaluating the role that technology in general can play in tackling these problems, check out our recent whitepaper on “Government Technology in an Age of Crisis.”
Data and AI: The Potential
When collected, integrated, and analysed properly, data can generate holistic, system-level understandings of complex events. While data and AI can be leveraged in a wide variety of ways to improve services across the public sector, they play a particularly important role in 1) predicting and driving multi-stakeholder collaboration; 2) enabling targeted policy; and 3) designing effective intervention. This in turn improves service delivery in the mitigation of environmental, health, security and economic crises.
1. Building Climate Resilience
The race to achieving Net Zero and combating climate change has resulted in a sizable increase in monitoring and measuring carbon emissions. Many of the initiatives that have emerged in recent years have focused on the development of better frameworks and methodologies to measure and track emissions across sectoral ecosystems, as well as the integration of data systems to drive better insights, coordination, and efficiencies.
2. Enhancing National Security
Data continues to play a central role in generating accurate intelligence and credible risk assessments in both offline and online environments. Better data enables faster and accurate decision making, improved shared situational awareness, and the development of digital training environments. Examples of proactive utilisation and creation of tools which leverage data can be found around the world, we highlight some examples below.
3. Driving Health Outcomes
Covid-19 has served as a catalyst for the digital transformation of public health services across the globe. Governments are applying data and AI in new and innovative ways to improve medical research, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as in care delivery and coordination of health systems. Below we illustrate examples of how data and AI are being leveraged to enable remote patient monitoring, coordinate health emergencies, and explore interdependencies between health and economic outcomes to develop more targeted and holistic care interventions.
4. Stimulating the Economy
Across the globe, governments have experienced a variety of economic challenges as a result of shifting economic conditions arising from increased globalisation, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic. In response, new applications of data and AI have been developed to enable data integration across systems to facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration, increase transparency, and facilitate the development of new tools and services that drive innovation and competition.
PUBLIC’s data services
At PUBLIC we work with organisations at the very early stages of their data solution journey, to co-design options for transforming public policy with data. We then work to build solutions and scale them to maximise impact. For an exploratory call, contact email@example.com
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