14 May 2020
by Jon Phillips
At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, after surviving two close encounters with C19 in Hong Kong and again in Italy, after arriving to safety in St. Louis, I began chatting with my long-time friend, Gloria Chiang. She too (like you) was in lock-down, but in Singapore. Even though she is from Singapore, she could not get back to her life in Beijing. Both of us were stable at home, and neither of us have idle hands. Time to use our energy to fight for humanity!
Have you found yourself refreshing Covid-19 statistics repetitively? Gloria and I were both concerned about the quality of data from each country related to Covid-19. And, places like Hong Kong and Singapore, we rationalized, were ideal for studying the quality of data released by organizations due to the small contained populations. The numbers in SG are smaller, more manageable than say, the entirety of China or the United States. Gloria dug into the Singapore Ministry of Health’s (MOH) data and instantly found issues with the data quality, reporting, and consistency. And since, she has been on a hard core data deep dive.
Later, Gloria came up with the name after she had been working tirelessly for days, around the clock to produce the detailed critical improvements to the Singaporean MOH’s Covid-19 Health data. The concept of the project is crystalized in the project’s mission statement:
RAW DATA NOW is a volunteer project dedicated to collecting and publishing the data required to understand the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore.
RAW DATA NOW is a solid piece of work first, led by Gloria. This project is how we at Fabricatorz Foundation prefer to make projects. We start small with a concrete focused mission in order to do real work, all while keeping the big picture alive in in scope and ambition.
Where do I see RAW DATA NOW going? Like the raw food movement, when there is scrutiny on food sources, people demand more provenance on their food. Like with the food we eat, RAW DATA is a demand for information quality. This becomes more crucial as the world becomes more populated, resources become scarce, driving us further into paralysis when faced with a stressful global emergency.
For humanity to really make decisions, we need to be confident and clear where our information comes from so that we may make the best decisions possible. It is a crucial endeavour that is above any country jurisdictions or corporate interest. It is our right to have the highest quality data. Testing is important. Also, the results that come back from those tests, how that information is gathered and then disseminated must be understood. We must demand RAW DATA NOW! It starts from ourselves. It scales from there.
It must grow from clarity. RAW DATA NOW makes data available in open raw data formats under the OpenCovid Pledge-compatible Creative Commons Zero 1.0 license.
We welcome you into our project. Do you have feedback? We want to hear it!
As you can see from the image I am releasing, even the logo for the project you may influence by joining us on our mission to bring the RAW DATA. Jump in!