Through social analysis and practical technical experimentations that combine qualitative research, data modelling and prototype testing, this project investigates the potential of digital tools to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica, as well as other developing countries with similar socio-economic limitations and socio-technical characteristics. In partnership with Mona Geoinformatics (MGI), the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, the School of Computer Sciences at the University of Glasgow, and the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh, it will investigate the potential for new technologies to inform people and support agencies, and to optimize resources available to treat and limit the spread of Covid-19 in developing countries. 

In countries largely affected by the virus, there have been many initiatives to develop applications to mitigate its spread and impact. While some had a positive impact, many have been adopted tangentially and some have been subject of much debate. Furthermore, the direct translation of such technologies into developing countries can be problematic and potentially exacerbate vulnerabilities and inequalities. This project will investigate social and cultural aspects that influence perception of different Covid-19 mitigating strategies in Jamaica and how it relates to the development of risk-mitigating technologies. This research will feed into current efforts to map the spread of the virus and will propose guidelines and recommendations for the development of future applications. 

The project is being carried out in collaboration with Arlene Bailey (SALISES, University of West Indies Mona), and Luke Buchanan & Parris Lyew-Ayee (Mona GeoInformatics), Jessica Enright, University of Glasgow and Marisa Wilson, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. 

The project is funded by the SFA Global Challenges Research fund.  

Image by James Willamor.