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COVID-19: Is it time to adopt open data?

Tags: 'Audrey Tang' 'Coronavirus' 'Covid-19' 'Digital Inclusion' 'Digital innovation' 'Digital Skills' 'Radical transparency' 'Social innovation' 'Taiwan'


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The speed of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a shortage of essential medical supplies, leading to price speculation in many countries. The government of Taiwan gives us an example of how to tackle this with technology, innovation and radical transparency.

Digital minister Audrey Tang developed an app called eMask that displays data about medical face mask inventories at local drugstores. This helped the government implement a rationing system based on actual conditions on the ground, which alleviated confusion and anxiety over supply.

Addressing this issue at the right time with the right tools prevented widespread panic, and Taiwan is currently one of the biggest mask-makers sending help worldwide.