What is the Emergent Alliance and what is it for?
The Alliance existed to better inform the economic decision making of corporations, small businesses and nations states. Drawing on a diverse collaboration of corporates, individuals, NGOs and Governments, the Alliance contributed knowledge, expertise, data, and resources to inform decision making on regional and global economic challenges to aid societal recovery.
Why did the Alliance chosen to focus on future economic scenarios rather than the immediate healthcare response?
Members of the Emergent Alliance helped the direct response to COVID-19 in many ways. It was not a case of ignoring the immediate health care issues but addressing these questions in parallel with social and economic consequences.
Member initiatives include:
- Rolls-Royce was a leading member of the UK’s Ventilator challenge to massively increase the manufacture and supply of ventilators to the UK’s hospitals to help the most seriously ill patients.
- Leeds Institute for Data Analytics played a major role in enhancing modelling capacity to create a clearer understanding of different exit strategies from the lockdown.
We wanted to get people and businesses back to work around the globe. We were combining traditional economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behavioural and sentiment data to provide new insights into – and practical applications to support – the global recovery from Covid-19. Emergent Alliance models helped identify lead indicators of economic recovery cycles. Businesses small and large around the world, as well as governments, can use these insights to help build the confidence they need to make decisions, such as investments or policy changes that could shorten or limit the recessionary impacts of the pandemic.
What does this mean for real people? How will your ambition of smoothing and lessening the recessionary impact of COVID-19 be felt by ordinary people?
Emergent Alliance models were designed to help people get back to work and back to economic activity as soon as possible by identifying the very earliest green shoots of economic recovery.
A significant factor in the speed of any economic recovery from a recession is confidence. Without confidence people don’t book holidays, or decide to invest in significant purchases, or launch new business ideas; without confidence businesses don’t invest in growth activities like hiring new people, developing new products, or expanding into new territories or markets; without seeing the beginnings of economic confidence governments don’t know where to direct stimulus packages to best effect to help the early shoots of recovery thrive.
Businesses small and large around the world, as well as governments, can use our insights to help build their confidence to make decisions, such as investments or policy changes, that could shorten or limit the recessionary impacts of the pandemic.
Can you tell me about any analysis you’ve worked on? What are they showing you? How has being in the Alliance helped this activity?
Early-stage modelling from the Emergent Alliance is available via our data catalogue on our home page.
- Exploratory analysis of lock-down measures The impact and importance of testing data – a known unknown
- The can and cannot of SIR modelling
- The effectiveness of Covid-19 measures
- Effectiveness of Covid-19 Government Response – A Causal Analysis
- Effectiveness of Covid-19 Government Response – A Causal Analysis
How did organisations contribute?
Our partners all contributed in different ways. The focus was on data so we needed contributions of datasets, data expertise and infrastructure. Beyond that we needed help to create engaging challenge statements to capture different industries and markets. We also required expertise in other areas like project management, agile working, business development and legal advice.
Privacy and Data Privacy
Are you working with personal data? How are you keeping it safe and private?
The alliance worked with both personal data and non-personal data.
Where personal data was involved, alliance members had access to products which would enable the data holder to quantitatively assess the privacy risks that their datasets contain. Data holders would then be able to take appropriate actions to mitigate those risks by de-identifying the data before it was used or released.
To ensure that privacy isn’t eroded at the expense of research into COVID-19 and to ensure data protection laws are complied with, our partners acted as a trusted 3rd party to apply anonymisation techniques to alliance members’ data and produce anonymized aggregated data assets that could be used by the broader alliance.
The alliance ensured the data was used for the agreed central purpose and protected against the data later being misused, by ensuring that sensitive data was securely deleted once it was no longer needed for the alliance’s use.
Will you be sharing any personal or specific data with commercial companies or with governments? How will you make sure they don’t misuse it?
We do not share personal data with commercial companies, governments or universities.
The alliance worked with both personal data and non-personal data, but any personal data was de-identified before it was used or released for use within the alliance (See question 1 for further detail).
Our data processing was governed by strict international legislation including GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) and by the Data Protection Act 2018 in the UK. We follow best practice guidance of the ICO e.g. in reaction to data aggregation and re-identification.
Even governments (especially governments!) are bound by the rule of law in access and exploitation of data.
Where are you getting the data from? What sort of data is it?
The alliance combined traditional economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behavioural and sentiment data to provide new insights into – and practical applications to support – the global recovery from COVID-19.
Data will be made available to alliance members in the following ways:
Emergent Alliance members worked to pipeline data from open-data sources. Data owning/controlling members made de-sensitized versions of their proprietary data-sets publicly available to the Emergent Alliance community via our home page.
Data owning/controlling members who had proprietary data-sets that are too sensitive to share in public – even when de-sensitized – could collaborate with other alliance members (by invitation) in a closed environment. Data-sets may have been kept private, but results of analysis and/or models published openly.
All of this work was done with a sharp focus on privacy and security, using industry best practices for data sharing and robust governance.