Telecommunication network, Vodafone Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS)and the Flowminder Foundation are using innovative data science techniques to support the government’s response against COVID-19.
The long-standing ‘Data For Good’ partnership between Vodafone Ghana, Ghana Statistical Services and the Flowminder Foundation has enabled the production of rapid mobility estimates using anonymised and aggregated mobile phone data to support the government’s interventions against COVID-19.
The analysis aims to identify the extent to which mobility restrictions put in place by the government are being adhered to within districts, regions, and nationally.
These new mobility estimates will help the government understand how effective its restrictions have been and enable it to plan its next move in the fight against the virus.
Flowminder and the GSS have utilised anonymised, aggregated telecommunications data, provided by Vodafone Ghana, to provide the government with an analysis comparing changes in Vodafone subscribers’ mobility patterns since travel restrictions started.
Speaking on the partnership, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, said: “This milestone puts Ghana in a unique position as a trailblazer across Africa and offers an undeniable proof why data from mobile networks can become a force for the good of society.”
She added that “Our commitment remains to positively impact the lives of people, businesses and communities through innovation and technology during this pandemic. I am extremely happy that this data will help the country to better analyse and make predictions for the benefit of everyone at this crucial time.”
For his part, GSS’s Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim, said “Understanding changes in mobility patterns is important for the government to establish whether the current restrictions are likely to contain the spread of the disease and whether more or different, interventions should be put in place in the coming days or weeks.
“This work shows the power of data and is a good example of how it can benefit everyone,” he added.
Data Scientist at Flowminder, Tracey Li, noted “The government of Ghana needs to understand how and when people are moving.”
She explained that “From mobile data, we are analysing, for example, the number of Vodafone subscribers in each district or region, the number of subscribers travelling between districts and between regions, and the increase in movements out of Accra and Kumasi over the weekend.”