Project:Data anthropology and ethics/CivilSociety

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Swiss COVID-19 Civil Society Point of Contact


Staatslabor, a private organisation is working with the Swiss administration on a platform for cooperation between individual initiatives and the relevant federal offices. The project is looking for concrete political measures.

Staatlabor's remarks

  • how to make it work in communities?
  • how and where do you give them that information?
  • how they can start rebuilding their communities?


Our methodology aims to

  • identify a vulnerable population
  • allow empowering individuals and communities by providing them visibility to their lifestyles and propagation risk factors
  • identify groups that are more likely to propagate the pandemic, because they are more central in the social network, and so to reduce the propagation by closing the places visited by those people.
  • understand social approach while contact tracing only shows

At a high level we seek to understand better people in relation to the virus and contribute to changing their behaviors towards the end of this epidemic.

  • internal: I understand the virus, what it can do to me
  • individual action: given the virus, I need to: stockpile, just wait, help others, etc
  • form community: how is my group handling this, did others have same idea,do I self identify differently
  • act together: let’s reach out to authorities,, do advocacy etc


By means of questionnaires that will us give the input data to interpret, develop personas and begin the process.
To be completed


  • open source model (validated), seed it with locally open researched parameters
  • cluster of contact patterns
  • cluster on variables linked to socio-economical and cultural status, and on lifestyle in general.
  • actionable data: mapping sources of social exclusion:
  • recommendations on what facilities can be opened and how based on graphing and models
  • tools to measure the impact of political decisions (closing parks, closing schools, reducing the frequency/length of trains, ...)


  • Experts in all fields review validity, methodology and data
  • Epidemiologists input
  • mathematicians and modelers experience with virus models and with social models to clarify where the greatest uncertainties are in the macro model

Example of a top down approach for communities: study for a Dutch exit strategy

Division of the Netherlands into 10 regions with the same number of inhabitants.

  • Impose strict measures on all these regions, but 'release' the disease in one region.
  • Open up the intensive care capacity throughout the NL to the sick people in the exposed area. Once the peak passed in that area, and there is sufficient immunity there, 'release' the second region and expose it to the virus.
paper: A phased lift of control: a practical strategy to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 at the country level