STI policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-country comparison on contact tracing apps

The research project aims to contribute to the debate on STI policies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focusing on a cross country comparison, the research team has addressed the following research question: in what conditions the use of individual data and reletd AI technologies might be a successfull policy to cope with the pandemic? To answer this question, the research team has undertaken a cross country-comparison on the development and use of contact tracing apps in nine countries: France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, among the countries in Europe most affected by the virus, to the Republic of Ireland, which has created one of the best tracking programs in Europe. Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Russia have been identified as a reference to non-European countries which have used different systems and methods for tracking, with far from unanimous opinions.

Research team: Directed by Margherita Russo, Professor of Econimic Policy, the project (March-July 2021) has been realised with a group of six BA students of the Department of Economis (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy) during their internship conducted remotely because of the restrictions to the pandemic: Claudia Cardinale Ciccotti, Fabrizio De Alexandris, Antonela Gjinaj, Giovanni Romaniello, Antonio Scatorchia, Giorgio Terranova

Results have been published in a preliminary version in Italian ( DEMB WP Series N. 191) and in a more focused version in English: The systemic dimension of success (or failure?) in the use of data and AI during the COVID-19 pandemic. A cross-country comparison on contact tracing apps, July 2021, DEMB WP Series N. 193. A column has been commissioned by (under submission)

References and data sources can be browsed in the Zotero Group OECD_DEMB-internship on contact tracing apps apps (register to login)

The research team thanks the UNIMORE-DEMB internship staff and DEMB WP Series editors for their collaboration.
Margherita Russo wish to thank Dr. Caroline Paunov (OECD-Working Party on Technology and Innovation Policy-TIP), Ing. Isabella Palombini (Scientific Attaché of the Permanent Representation of Italy to International Organizations, Paris) and the TIP delegates from Canada, Chile, and Slovakia who participated in the OECD-WPTIP virtual, small-group 30-minute coffee, 12 March 2021, on the theme “What new data or data analytics tools should STI policymakers find ways to employ, both in responding to COVID-19 and in building the post-COVID-19 future?”.
Discussions with Massimo Brunetti (ASL, Modena), David Legg (Innovate UK) and Dirk Meissner (HSE, Moscow) provided hints for interpreting some results.
The authors are obviously responsible for errors and omissions.