Not All Heroes Wear Capes: The Contributors Behind the Battle Against the Coronavirus Outbreak in Taiwan
19 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2020 Last revised: 17 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 14, 2020
In this paper we describe how a name-based face mask rationing system in Taiwan was crucially and very successfully assisted with software applications produced by a collaboration between the public and civic (voluntary) sectors. As such, the paper presents a case in which civic sector contributors have helped a government cope with the coronavirus outbreak. Originally regarded as the country most likely to be affected by this disease due to its geographic and economic ties with China, Taiwan has performed well compared to most countries. This study, based on online community chat room records and interviews, shows how the civic, private and public sectors have worked together to tackle an immense challenge. Specifically, the paper describes the work by a unique group of people using big data and personal expertise that has assisted in the response to the coronavirus outbreak in Taiwan by conceiving and implementing software systems for public coping with the crisis. The purpose of this account is to document those accomplishments, based on online community messages, open shared interviews, and personal contacts. The lessons learned and the challenges remaining are also discussed.
Keywords: Civic technology; Collaborative community; Public sector; Open data; COVID-19
JEL Classification: I18
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