Harnessing data science technologies to develop solutions to the continent's most pressing public health problems

About Us

The Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa) Initiative aims to leverage data science technologies to transform biomedical and behavioral research and develop solutions that would lead to improved health for individuals and populations.

To accomplish this, the DS-I Africa Initiative aims to contribute to the development of the necessary expertise among African scientists, and to establish networks of African investigators.

The vision of DS-I Africa is to create and support a robust pan-continental network of data scientists and technologies that will be equipped to apply advanced data science skills to transform health.

Program Goals

To advance Data Science and related innovations in Africa to create an ecosystem that can begin to provide local solutions to countries’ most immediate public health problems through advances in research.

Create a pan continental network with broad academic, public, private and industry partnerships.

Enhance Data Science capacity through training toward developing a new generation of interdisciplinary African Data Scientists..

Develop new data collection and analytic systems, applications, and tools with attention to usages that are population-relevant, affordable, acceptable, and scalable.

Advances in policy surrounding ethical issues

Facilitate resource access to the global scientific community. Resources may include medical image repositories to be used as a basis for machine learning.

Establish recognized regional and continental DS Centres of Excellence.

Enable new interdisciplinary collaborations and new scientific knowledge.

Demonstration of the feasibility of advanced DS to improve health in Africa

Our Projects

On this page you will find a list of consortium projects. The consortium consists of a data science platform and coordinating center, seven research hubs, seven data science research training programs and four projects focused on studying the ethical, legal and social implications of data science research.

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Working groups

On this page, you will find the list of Working groups, links to the minutes of their meetings and other documentation about the establishment of the working group and its purpose and function.

Training & Education Working Group

Training is an essential component of all DS-I Africa projects to build data science capacity in Africa. The Training and Education Working Group therefore aims to coordinate and harmonize training efforts, identify gaps, optimize the use of available resources, and increase training opportunities.

Data Management Working Group

Technical expertise required to translate data into solutions to improve health care is indispensable in this era of data science, enabled by exponential growth of diverse data available for biomedical research. The DS-I Africa Data Management Working Group focuses on the more technical aspects of data use and analysis. We discuss data management plans, data models, data storage, data standards, data harmonization, analysis tools, compute infrastructure for data analysis and the interoperability of data and machines.

DS-I Africa Steering Committee

The Steering Committee (SC) provides strategic leadership to achieve the overarching program goals. The SC will develop and adopt various governance policies and guidelines that facilitate collaboration, promote sharing and accessibility of resources and new discoveries. Continuous assessments allow for readjustments of ongoing activities.
Membership

Principal investigators, project and data managers from each grant and NIH program staff constitute the Steering Committee membership. Participants are bound by policies and procedures developed by the Steering Committee.

Adoption of such policies and procedures requires a majority vote, each funded project has one vote. The Steering Committee chair and co chair are elected by majority vote, and together with the Coordinating Centre prepares meeting agendas and fulfills all related administrative and management tasks.

Leadership

Chair: Dr Michelle Skeleton
Co-Chair: Dr David Tumussime

Terms of reference

TBA

Resources & Outputs

Documents - to follow

Meeting Frequency

Online - monthly
In-person - Bi-annually rotating to various member countries

News & Events

NIH awards nearly $75M to catalyze data science research in Africa

Category

The National Institutes of Health is investing about $74.5 million over five years to advance data science, catalyze innovation and spur health discoveries across Africa. Under this new Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa) program, the NIH is issuing 19 awards to support research and training activities. DS-I Africa is an NIH Common Fund program that is supported by the Office of the Director and 11 NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices.

African data science research receives major funding from the National Institutes of Health

Several members of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium are among the beneficiaries of a $74.5 million investment from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop data science, innovation, and health discoveries across Africa. They are among the recipients of 19 awards under the NIH’s new Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa) program to support research, ethics, and training activities.

Community Engagement

The DS-I Africa Consortium will engage communities throughout the African Continent and the world by sharing information and updates that will include a variety of content and tools:
  • Community Engagement & Health Information
  • Data scientist video series
  • Infographics
  • Literature
  • News
  • Data Science Community Toolkit