Modeling COVID-19 to inform Humanitarian Operations

The coronavirus pandemic has reached nearly every corner of the world, including countries that were already in crisis due to conflicts, natural disasters and climate change. To effectively respond to COVID-19 in the world’s most vulnerable places, humanitarians need predictive models that are designed to factor in the local context and available data. Since March, the OCHA Centre for Humanitarian Data has worked closely with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to build one of the first COVID-19 predictive models specifically designed for humanitarian response. The model has been piloted in six countries and is now being publicly released as a ‘digital public good’ that can be peer-reviewed, adapted or extended by others. In this 90-minute online event, participants will learn how and why the ‘OCHA-Bucky’ model was created, and how it is being used to inform humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Speakers will also outline how to access and customize the model for new applications, and discuss the increased use of predictive analytics in humanitarian response more broadly.