top of page

Open Data and COVID-19

August 16, 2021

During the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021, the Judicial Base South Coalition conducted research "Determining the needs of associations and media in the south of Serbia for publishing in an open data format, data from the judiciary." The author of the research is Ivan Grujić, a lawyer from Leskovac and a member of the Program Council of the Judicial Base South coalition. He was assisted in his research by Milica Stanković, a lawyer and journalist from Niš, Jelena Videnović, a lawyer and NGO activist from Niš, and Mihajlo Stojković, a journalist from the InfoVranjska portal and director of the Development and Integration Team (TRI) from Vranje. The research will be presented to the public at an expert conference to be held in Nis in the first quarter of 2022.

“Open data” is the concept of available data so that anyone is free to use and republish it, without restriction by the author or other control mechanisms. Although the concept itself is not new, the term “open data” has been applied since 2008 and has gained in popularity following the initiative of some countries to open their data. Only publicly available data can be published in the form of open data. Open data cannot be personal data, classified (secret) data, and data protected by copyright.

As part of our research, in order to better understand open data and illustrate what they actually represent and what opportunities they provide, ie how they can all be used, we analyzed, among other things, the success of European and North American countries in combating the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. As for the conference itself, we want to make parts of the research available to the public, so we will describe here our findings on this segment of research.

As a data (indicator) based on when we measured the success of the state, we took the total number of deaths in one year. The records of the dead are kept precisely in the countries that were in our focus. We did not want to analyze the official numbers of people who died due to the Covid-19 virus because there are doubts about the accuracy of those data.

Data on the total number of deaths were taken from the websites of official statistical institutions. In one column, we calculated the average five-year number of deaths from 2015 to 2019. In the second, we listed the number of deaths in 2020. We believe that the changes in the total number of deaths last year were directly (death due to the Covid-19 virus), or indirectly (due to the burden on health systems), a consequence of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

(For more details on the survey results for each country, see the table below.)

We were unable to find data for all countries in Europe.

* For Germany, we did not find the number of deaths in 2015, the average was done from 2016 to 2019.

If the World Health Organization made such a list in an open format (Excel, CSV, JSON), they would get open data on the success of countries during the pandemic of the COVID-19 in 2020.

From our table, we can conclude that Norway reacted best to the appearance of the COVID-19 because there was no increase in the number of deaths from the usual annual average. Serbia is in the middle of the list with similar success as Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Albania had the worst results in the first year of the COVID-19 virus pandemic, with an increase in the number of deaths by ¼.

The total number of deaths from 2021 can be used to further assess the success of countries in the fight against the COVID-19.


bottom of page