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The Global Impact of Open Data by Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young

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Chapter 18. Singapore’s Dengue Cluster Map

Open Data for Public Health

Summary: Faced with a dengue fever epidemic, the government of Singapore and the city’s National Environmental Agency (NEA) turned to open data to control the spread of the disease. In 2005, the NEA started sharing information on the location of dengue clusters as well as disease information and preventive measures online, through a website now commonly known as the “Dengue Website.” Since then, the NEA’s data-driven cluster map has evolved, and it became an integral part of the campaign against a dengue epidemic in 2013. The campaign had two key components: an awareness-raising campaign, and a system of alerting the community to the severity of the dengue situation and the corresponding preventive measures to take. The data was also opened to app developers, who have used it to create a more nuanced and rich picture of the spread of dengue fever.

Dimension of Impact: Solving Public Problems—Data-Driven Engagement

Key Takeaways:

  • In many cases, open data initiatives can become more impactful when they integrate an element of citizen engagement—in the interest of conducting user-centered design, filling gaps in existing data sets or driving use of the data and/or platform.

  • Open data projects that are problem-focused have great potential to expand across borders to other areas facing similar challenges.

  • Particularly in problem-focused efforts, there is a need ...

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