A partnership between Data61 and the Indonesian Government is providing tools to help tackle COVID-19 in Indonesia.

COVID-19 in Indonesia: our work is also contributing to help create a vaccine development platform.

Complex problems require sophisticated solutions, and few challenges are more complex than COVID-19. A single decision support tool, created in partnership with Data61 and the Indonesian Government, is providing Australia’s neighbour with the tools necessary to help tackle the pandemic.

Data is helping detect COVID-19 in Indonesia

The web-based tool will provide crucial insights on the early detection of hotspots, population movement, and the country’s capacity to adapt. The framework of the platform is grounded in two Data61 focus areas: social media analytics and evacuation modelling.

Leveraging big data, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing, the system provides a combined alert and intelligence service for COVID-19 in Indonesia. Its aim is to assist in providing testing, medical resource distribution and social assistance where it’s most beneficial.

Dr Mahesh Prakash, Data61 project team member, is helping to develop the single decision support tool.

“The social media analytics aspect will provide early warning and mobility insights. And the application of agent-based modelling is to better understand potential post-lockdown scenarios,” he said.

Harnessing the power of social media

The social monitoring feature gathers Twitter content and identifies specific syndrome keywords and their context. It doesn’t just look at what people are saying, but also where they are located. These social media insights, combined with telecommunications data, give a greater understanding of movements within the community.

The analysis of this data within the tool will help to better understand the Indonesian population’s response to the outbreak. It will reveal key insights including population density, age profile, food security and availability of medical resources unique to specific areas.

This vital information will help decision-makers to understand how quickly the outbreak could potentially spread. Ultimately, the tool will potentially provide the information necessary to prevent the emergence of new virus hotspots.

For the full version of this article head on over to our Algorithm blog.


  1. The smartest thing that Indonesia, Australia or anywhere else in our region can do about COVID is to study and copy Taiwan. Taiwan was in the very front line of infection with almost the population of Australia (24m v. 26m) crowded into an island half the size of Tasmania. But democratic Taiwan has performed better than every other country on all metrics. Just 7 COVID deaths for a rate of 0.3 per million with no lockdown and with schools and businesses running as normal throughout.
    Its GDP has dipped a little, by 0.7%, but that is a figure most countries would be delighted to have.
    Why don’t we follow what is proven to work rather than re-inventing an unsatisfactory wheel?

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