COVID-19 Infrastructure Playbook
Our new report, The COVID-19 Infrastructure Playbook (available in English and German), examines the development and deployment of digital public infrastructure in the fight against COVID-19, with special focus on the role of digital civil society organizations.
COVID19 has accelerated the digital transformation of European societies in an unprecedented way: As a result, in many areas society’s civic life has shifted from a mix of public and private spheres entirely onto privately owned platforms. The digital shift has led to a loss of public spaces and to market concentration (e.g. libraries that turn to Adobe Digital Editions, a tool that collects detailed reading behaviour, for borrowing e-books; schools using Microsoft Teams that tracks and displays individual “efficiency” and output, or Zoom, a platform that has censored academic debates on its platform).
There are best practices of civil society organizations and (local) governments that have made privacy preserving and open source choices when expanding into the digital sphere at the onset of the pandemic. These choices made them more resilient, less dependent from proprietary service providers, and preserved public spaces when going digital. These success stories, however, are not widely known, analysed and copied.
The COVID-19 Infrastructure Playbook focuses on the following questions:
- What role did digital civil society organizations play in the development of digital public infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the major learnings and insights from these processes?
- How can Europe be better prepared for rapid digital transformation that is rights preserving and sustainable?
- What alternative digital infrastructure solutions did the tech sector and the digital civil society provide?
The COVID-19 Infrastructure Playbook is made possible by a grant from the European AI Fund.