Researchers partner with Birmingham City Council to address the Ripple Effects of Covid-19

Birmingham Academics from BCU’s School of Computing are working with Birmingham City Council (BCC) on a project which utilises a variety of data from across the region to help support people at risk from the ripple effects of Covid-19.

The Data Science Collaboration (DSC) project is an ongoing BCU initiative which began October 2019 with the aim of empowering BCC to harness data to support strategic decision making.

The collaboration is currently focused on developing predictive models for assessing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on health and wellbeing with the aim to support BCC planning and the swift provisioning of services to Birmingham residents.  

The DSC team uses data from a variety of sources, including surveys and open access datasets available from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), to gain a deeper understanding of how Covid-19 has affected health, economy and mental wellbeing across the region.

This data is then utilised by BCC to shape policies that support community needs and help the Council predict how Coronavirus will continue to impact the city in the future.

Responding to local needs

The Data Science collaboration (DSC) team aims to support decision planning and the swift delivery of services to communities at times when they are urgently needed. 

These impacts extend to mental health and economic factors, allowing the Council to monitor which areas are reporting a reduced quality of life or financial difficulties due to the pandemic.

Principle investigator Abdel-Rahman Tawil said:

Supporting initiatives across Birmingham

The DSC is also helping to support multiple initiatives across Birmingham, including traffic and air quality monitoring to measure the effects of the Clean Air Zone.

Other initiatives also include developing a strategic needs analysis for young people across the city, providing insights into homelessness, mental health and other key factors to inform safeguarding practices.

The BCU project team also includes Dr. Edlira Vakaj, Konstantinos Vlachos and Dr. Diana Haidar. The BCC team is led by Nigel Sharratt, Henry Griffiths and is supported by Richard Brooks, Director of Strategy, Equality and Partnerships at BCC.

Find out more about the Data Science Collaboration.