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IDRC funding to expand pandemic response preparedness in Latin America

March 10, 2022
Two leading Colombian universities have been added to the effort to build the epidemiological data-analysis tools of the future through IDRC’s grant of CAD1.9 million to Epiverse — a global collaborative of interdisciplinary experts, led by data.org, building an open-source software ecosystem.
Woman in laboratory

IDRC’s support will add the Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes) and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Javeriana) to a growing community of data scientists, academics and technologists working on the use of analytics in the global infectious-disease response. The funding is through the three-year project Enhancing tools for response, analytics and control of epidemics in Latin America

“We need solutions built on the knowledge and capabilities of those most at-risk of bearing the burden of inequities in global health,” said Catalina Gonzalez Uribe, director of internationalization at the Vice presidency of Research and Creation and associate professor at the School of Medicine, Uniandes.  

“By leading an effort to develop software within Colombia, we are not only contributing to global efforts, but we are building capacity in our own backyard and showcasing our expertise on a global stage,” added Zulma M Cucunubá, assistant professor of infectious disease epidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Javeriana. 

“Epiverse’s expansion into Colombia underscores our belief that we cannot accept data science solutions that are parachuted into low- and middle-income countries [LMICs] from the Global North. This antiquated model excludes the lived experiences of our colleagues in LMICs and, in the process, creates significant gaps in our software ecosystem,” said Danil Mikhailov, executive director of data.org. 

“We are thrilled to be able to play a role in bringing Epiverse into Latin America by way of these efforts in Colombia and look forward to seeing the impact of data-driven insights in the region,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel. 

IDRC’s contribution is part of its ongoing investment in innovation and research to solve global development challenges. 

See the full press release from data.org here.