ICESI University from Cali and Cepei signed a cooperation agreement to generate knowledge and confront the pandemic better

December 10, 2020

Bogota, December 4, 2020 – Considering the important role that academia and research play in generating knowledge to face the COVID-19 pandemic, ICESI University from Cali and the Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional (Cepei) are pleased to announce they have established a cooperation agreement to facilitate the generation and exchange of knowledge for response and recovery towards the pandemic.

The main focus of this partnership is the COVID-19 Data and Innovation Centre, launched on December 3. The launch was attended by Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group; Adam Selipsly, President and CEO of Tableau; Lydie Hakizimana, CEO of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences; Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women; Sheila Warren, Director of Data Policy and member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum and Philipp Schönrock, Director of Cepei.

The COVID-19 Data & Innovation Centre identifies and prioritizes current policies and information on the socioeconomic recovery of low- and middle-income countries, as well as the availability of financial resources that lead to more and better decisions to be made when implementing national and local strategies in response to the crisis.

“The new data centre on COVID-19 is a unique initiative in the sense that it offers a multidimensional look at the current state of the pandemic that contributes to the design of more effective and precise policies in terms of economic recovery of different regions in the world, including the Colombian Pacific”.

Vladimir Rouvinski, Director of PoInt at Icesi University

Researchers at ICESI University will be able to access Tableau’s technology, where it is possible to visualize the effects of the pandemic at a global, national and local level and, likewise, find recovery indicators, analysis, special modules and interactive maps that relate different variables to better understand the impact of the pandemic and the focus on the efforts made. These can be downloaded in JPG, PDF or PowerPoint formats.

“This new centre is a great platform for local data initiatives to be replicated in different parts of the world. It allows us to collaborate with colleagues and communities that we could hardly connect with. The union of these local forces is very powerful and is allowing us to enhance the available data to turn them into relevant information for decision-making ”

Julio César Alonso, Director of the Center for Research on Economics and Finance (Cienfi) of the Icesi University

Node 0 of the COVID-19 Data & Innovation Centre focuses on the Valle del Cauca region in Colombia in order to deploy capacities, share data, information and knowledge experiences. Cienfi and Cepei have developed a clearly defined geographic focus for the project, organized data sets, and facilitated usability through dashboards, open data, citizen-generated data, data analytics, and other resources to facilitate comprehensive social conversations that support response and recovery actions at the local level. This association provides visualizations focused on the reopening or closing of schools, the unemployment rate, remittances, among others. You can find all the information here.

The Director of Cepei, Philipp Schönrock, reiterates the importance the academia has in getting  involved in this effort by stating that:

“Icesi University is a partner at the local level that has the technical capacity, it is rooted in the community, especially in the Pacific coastline and facilitates the participation of these communities through information methodologies and contemporary social platforms”.

To learn more about the project, visit or refer to this document.


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