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Time to tie loose ends of data sharing

China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-13 07:18

Some medical professionals figured out early on the dangers of the novel coronavirus spreading, but it seems government did not act on the information as swiftly as the public thought it could have.

With the onset of the era of information and big data, which are expected to play an important role in daily life, corporate management and governance, one expected better use of resources to stop the virus from spreading.

One of the main reasons for reform in governance is to promote transparency, not only to protect citizens' right to know what the government does, but also to make the public better understand the government and better implement decisions it makes.

The Chinese government is committed to transparency about major decision-making procedures through information disclosure.

Transparency about information related to the novel coronavirus epidemic since Jan 20 has helped reduce panic, but just the government making information public is not enough.

This model of a government taking major decisions seems inefficient when it comes to big cities and megacities, especially in the case of the public health emergency that originated in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province.

In this new era of a booming internet, big data, artificial intelligence, 5G and more technologies, the government and society should do more to promote the transformation of data into effective policies. They should collect, analyze and utilize all information scientifically and effectively to provide a more accurate and comprehensive basis for legislation, decision-making and policy implementation. This will improve people's livelihoods and provide better public services.

The key is to fundamentally change the established governance approach and promote the transformation of social governance into data governance and involve information and data while taking decisions for the public. It is not feasible to rely on a few people or departments to make scientific decisions.

The lack of information and sharing of data with government departments in the early stages of the fight against the coronavirus underlines the need for greater progress to be made in this regard.

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