Call for COVID-19 Global South Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Program

Call for COVID-19 Global South Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Program

Wednesday, 10 June, 2020

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) are providing up to CA$10 million to support multidisciplinary research to deepen understanding of how to develop and scale responsible (inclusive, rights-based, ethical, and sustainable) evidence-based artificial intelligence (AI) and data science approaches that support COVID-19 response and recovery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Projects should aim to:

  • Deepen understanding of how to develop and scale responsible and evidence-based AI and data science approaches that support COVID-19 response and recovery in developing countries, and to ensure that those responses are gender responsive and culturally appropriate, community specific, and based on local needs and contexts.
  • Inform policies, both organisationally and nationally, that support and build trust in AI and data science responses to epidemics and that mitigate potential harms.
  • Strengthen the capacity of health systems in developing countries to respond to epidemics using AI and data science techniques.

In particular, research will be supported that is linked to government responses in the following areas:

  • Forecasting transmissions and reducing spread through policy and public health interventions.
  • Optimizing public health system responses for patient diagnosis, care, and management.
  • Mobilizing AI and data science to understand and support gender inclusive COVID-19 action.
  • Building trust and combatting misinformation and disinformation around COVID-19.
  • Strengthening data systems and information sharing about COVID-19.
  • Supporting transparent and responsible AI, data, and digital rights governance around COVID-19 and pandemic responses.

Projects of between CA$500,000 to CA$1.25 million will be supported for two years (2020–2022).

Research consortia and individual organisations may apply. It should be noted that there will be a preference in selection for those based in Low and Middle Income countries and more than 50% of organisations in a consortium must be based in low- and middle-income countries. Eligible regions are: Central Asia, Europe, Far East Asia, Middle East, North and Central America, North of Sahara, Oceania, South America, South Asia, South of Sahara, West Indies.

Eligible applicants include accredited universities, non-governmental organisations, think tanks, and government-funded research organisations. Preference will be given to research consortia that demonstrate an ability to work across different contexts and directly with governments.

The deadline for applications is 28 June 2020 (23:45 EDT).


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