Government Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic
Government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, Latin America, South East Asia, and the Middle East
The report “Government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, Latin America, South East Asia, and the Middle East” was written by four graduate students from the London School of Economics (LSE) as as contribution to a broader civil society initiative which ran from July 2020 — March 2021. Valentine Botteri, Madeline Copp, Ana Muñoz Morales, and Irina Rekhviashvili supported civil society research by conducting this independent regional analysis, which assessed contact tracing apps and regional data protection legal frameworks in four regions. The report was completed in partnership with AWO as part of programme requirements for LSE’s MSc in International Development Management.
Contact tracing apps have been central to pandemic response strategies worldwide. While they are no silver bullet for curbing the spread of Covid-19, they have often been introduced as such. Beyond the risk of limited efficacy of the apps, they also introduce new potential harms to human rights. Lacking data protection and legal frameworks bring risks to privacy and of disproportionate surveillance.
This report undertakes an assessment in nine countries where the apps have been rolled out, examining this process in light of their national privacy ecosystems. The nine assessments cover Ghana, Kenya, Guatemala, Uruguay, Argentina, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bahrain, Kuwait, but the findings offer insights beyond their national borders. The technological response to Covid-19 should be embedded in adequate legal frameworks and should provide for privacy and human rights safeguards. The report identifies policy recommendations in four key areas towards realising this, namely on accountability, transparency, proportionality and human rights.