Earlier this year at the Munich Security Conference, World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic”. He was referring to the excessive amount of information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Data dashboards, aggregators and charts of all types have formed the basis of much of what we know about the pandemic, lending a veneer of legitimacy to often contradictory or competing claims. While it is true that on some levels we have never had so much data, it may not be the data we need for sustained policy response and recovery. This is especially true among least-developed countries, where looming data gaps, even in foundational statistics, persist and may seriously undermine the ability of governments to develop effective COVID-19 response and recovery measures.

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