Global South Response and Recovery – Strategic Vision and Action Plan


The COVID-19 pandemic is posing, exposing and exacerbating challenges for countries and communities across the Global South that will have global long term repercussions. Responding to the demographic, social, economic, political, and geopolitical impacts and implications of this crisis calls for bold thinking and forceful actions. This is our contribution. 

The problem

Growing risk​

While the COVID-19 pandemic has primarily affected East Asia, Europe and the United States, the Global South is already experiencing a rising number of cases, especially countries and communities in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, which host 30% of the world’s population.

Exacerbated vulnerability

Despite having younger populations and warmer climates that might lessen the impact of the COVID-19, these regions are particularly vulnerable to the socioeconomic and public health crisis precipitated by the pandemic. In spite of the progress achieved on several fronts in recent decades – bridging inequalities, and reducing poverty – these communities already face severe long-standing challenges, including deficient public health systems, political instability, weak social safety nets, gender imbalances, often weak and distrusted States, refugee and mass migration situations, environmental and resource stress, amongst others.

BLOG. For a detailed picture of the situation developing in Mexico in the midst of a quarantine which forces victims of domestic violence to spend more time with their abusers, please read our article “Domestic violence in Mexico in times of COVID-19“.

Multifold long-term impact

For most countries and communities, large scale testing, social distancing, lockdowns and economic shutdowns won’t be realistic options — or not for long. COVID-19 may bring down entire economies, societies, and families reverting years of efforts and creating conditions for lasting consequences, including increases in poverty, mortality, inequality, and insecurity, with major local, regional and global implications.

Our proposal

We seek to support Global South authorities and societies to respond and recover through a comprehensive and contextualized action plan. Specific projects are currently being developed and will be announced shortly.

Right now you can visit the C-19 Global South Observatory website (monitor for the situation of the pandemic at a political, social and economic level in countries of the Global South) or learn more about our vision and action by reading about the specific products and sub-objectives structured around our three pillars of work.

Produce evidence to support timely contextualized decision-making to avoid or mitigate COVID-19 community spread

Strengthen local awareness, connections and capacities to help countries and communities deal with COVID-19

Develop transformative data-enabled policies and strategies to recover from COVID-19

Countries of initial focus



Dr Emmanuel Letouzé

Director & Co-Founder

Dr Nuria

Chief Data Scientist

Prof. Patrick Vinck (Harvard U.)

Co-Director & Co-Founder

Prof. Alex Pentland (MIT)

Co-Founder & Academic Director

Dr Bruno Lepri (FBK)

Head of Research

Prof. Phuong Pham (Harvard U.)

Co-Founder for HHI

Core DPA team

Dr Emmanuel Letouzé

Director, USA & France

Zinnya del Villar

Senior Data Scientist, France & Mexico

María Antonia Bravo

Project Manager & Researcher,  Colombia

Andrés Lozano

Project Officer & Researcher, Colombia

Rodrigo Lara Medina

Research Scientist, Chile

Ivette Yáñez

Communications & Partnerships Officer, México

Luis García

Program Operations Officer,  México

Berenice Fernández

Researcher, México

Guillermo Romero

Researcher, México

Roaa Al Feel

Project Officer, Lebanon

Juan Camilo Mejía

Project Officer, Colombia

Silvia Rodrigues

Project Officer, Brazil

Affiliates and partners

Talla Ndiaye

Groupe Sonatel, DPA SSA focal point, Senegal

Cheikh Ndongo

Groupe Sonatel, DPA SSA focal point, Senegal

Juana de Catheu

Consultant, France, Tunisia, SSA

Simone Sala

Consultant, SSA

Tatiana Goetghebuer

Development Economist ADE , SSA

Julie Ricard

Board Member & Research Affiliate, México, Brazil

Alejandro Noriega

Founder Prosperia Labs, México

Till Koebe

Research Affiliate, Germany

Carlos Mazariegos

MIT Fellow, Guatemala

Andrés Clavijo

Research Affiliate, Peru

Neeti Pokhriyal

Post Doctoral Fellow, Dartmouth College, US


For more information and expressions of interest to collaborate or support, please contact:


Blog Data-Pop Alliance

"Domestic violence in Mexico in times of COVID-19"

Podcast Making Data Simple

"Data analysis for pandemics" with Emmanuel Letouzé

Podcast The Economist - Babbage

"Fighting contagion with data"

Global COVID-19 Survey

Created by Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Encuesta de impacto Covid-19

Encuesta en español creada por la Dra Nuria Oliver.

Journal article - Imperial College

"Estimating the number of infections and the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in 11 European countries"

Journal article - MIT & UC3M

"Effect of social distancing measures in the New York City metropolitan area"

The New York Times

"Location Data Says It All: Staying at Home During Coronavirus Is a Luxury"

The Economist

"Covid-19 will sicken Latin America’s weak economies"

The Economist

"Covid-19 presents stark choices between life, death and the economy"

The Economist

"The coronavirus could devastate poor countries"

The Guardian

"Coronavirus could push half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam warns"

UN Women

"COVID-19: Emerging gender data and why it matters"

Financial Times

"Tracking coronavirus: big data and the challenge to privacy"

African Center for Strategic Studies

"Mapping Risk Factors for the Spread of COVID-19 in Africa"

Journal article -

"Mobile phone data and COVID-19: Missing an opportunity?"

The Economist

"Covid stops many migrants sending money home"

Global Health 5050

COVID-19 sex-disaggregated data tracker

The Guardian

"Coronavirus is the biggest disaster for developing nations in our lifetime"

The Guardian

"Lockdowns leave poor Latin Americans with impossible choice: stay home or feed families"

The Washington Post

"Prepare for collateral damage as devastating as the virus"


Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage


Governance Implications of Epidemic Disease in Africa: Updating the Agenda for COVID-19