Facebook this week, through its Data for Good initiative, unveiled new tools that aim to provide the data sets and insights needed to fuel the economic recovery from the pandemic.
Data for a good public policy manager Laura McGorman and public policy manager Alex Pompe said in a newsroom post that researchers have estimated the global economy will see small business losses in the next five years due to Covid-19 Suffering amounts in excess of $ 80 trillion could be particularly hard hit.
Facebook has partnered with the University of Bristol in the UK to develop a Business Activity Trends tool that will aggregate information from company pages to gauge changes in local business activity around the world and formulate response and recovery plans.
The image below shows the drop in corporate page posts in the UK the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures.
Flavia De Luca, Lecturer in Structural and Seismic Engineering at the University of Bristol, said in the newsroom post: “It is very important to determine whether small and medium-sized businesses are open for recreation after events such as mandatory stay-at-home orders to judge. The traditional way of collecting this information, such as surveys and interviews, is usually costly, time-consuming, and not scalable. By using real-time information from Facebook, we want to make it easier for public institutions to respond better to these events. “
Facebook has also created international records for commuter zones, which are described as areas where people spend most of their time, not necessarily where they live, but where they shop or work.
McGorman and Pompe shared the following example, showing where people in Brazil spend most of their time and how this differs from traditional administrative boundaries. They said that pendulum zones can help identify areas of economic activity and how to recover from crisis.
The University of Maryland released findings from the global Covid-19 Symptom Survey that the social network conducted in over 200 countries. It provided information on whether people in various professions are concerned about household finances and have enough food, and whether they experience disruptions in employment.
The image below shows an example of the rate at which different regions in Indonesia are being hit by food insecurity.
Frauke Kreuter, director of the University of Maryland’s joint program for survey methodology, wrote in the newsroom article: “As policy makers assess and respond to the rapidly changing health and economic situations in their regions, it is important to be informed about the situation in good time being the people in terms of their economic security is changing. This daily information set of data is an invaluable resource for seeing what happened during the pandemic. “
Finally, country-level survey data from the six sections of the Global State of Small Business report from Facebook, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is now publicly available.
McGorman and Pompe concluded, “These new tools build on the existing suite of data products our Data for Good program is bringing to public health officials to fight Covid-19 around the world. We hope researchers and nonprofits can use this new insight to help small businesses and communities recover faster from the economic impact of the pandemic. “