The use of modelling and analytics in a data poor environment to sustainably deal with COVID-19 and beyond in Indonesia

Mahesh Prakash

CSIRO, Data61, Docklands GS



Indonesia like many other large developing nation complex democracies has had to face many challenges associated with COVID-19 including ones that are significantly related to humanitarian and economic challenges. The relative lack of good quality and open data and a robust testing regime also leads to significant challenges associated with predicting the spread of the virus and containment strategies. These issues as well as Indonesia’s longer term aims of becoming a more data driven society has led CSIRO’s Data61 to take a multi-pronged and non-traditional approach to modelling and analytics. Our aim is to provide support to organisations in Indonesia such as the UN Pulse Labs Jakarta in dealing with the immediate needs of various provinces in Indonesia as well as to work in close collaboration with them to help facilitate bringing the country back on the path to recovery through multi-disciplinary data driven insights. This talk will provide an overview of the work being carried out by CSIRO’s Data61 in collaboration with partners in Indonesia using social media based insights focussed on early warning and mobility, agent based mobility modelling and going forward possible integration with a range of non-traditional dynamic economic indicator related metrics derived from Earth Observation sources.


I am the Project Leader for the collaborative project being carried out by CSIRO’s Data61 in Indonesia in partnership with various agencies including the UN Pulse Labs Jakarta. The team in Data61 is heavily multi-disciplinary in nature and includes experts in Natural Language Processing, Epidemiological Modelling, Agent Based Mobility (transportation) Modelling, Earth Observation Modelling and Analytics and Software Engineering and Visualisation. Our aim is to leverage the crisis situation currently facing Indonesia and use it to capacity build agencies in Indonesia with advanced methods in Data Analytics and Modelling that can be utilised well beyond the immediate needs of this pandemic. We are doing this via building trusted partnerships and developing open source scalable tools on the cloud. I am also a Group Leader and Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61.

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