Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
Thailand Big Data-Driven by GBDi is an initiative aligned with master plans under National Strategy: No.4 Future Industries and Services (Y2018-2037) sub-plan Digital Industries and Services, Information, and Artificial Intelligence to promote development in information infrastructure that is consistent with economic development, and open data initiative in order to increase the industrial capabilities, to support data governance to organizations within the country, and to foster data integration in the public sector; No.20 population services and state efficiency in terms of public administration system, emphasizing on government database systems, and the application of digital technology for the benefit of decision-making and the adjustment of working methods of government agencies to be efficient and provide excellent services, as well as providing opportunities for the private sector and the public to access government information to increase the competitive edge and benefit in life. GBDi by Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) plays a key role in empowering the public sector through Big Data utilization, supporting public and private sector data-sharing platforms, cooperating with a total of 11 public and private academic institutions to equip Data Science skills for the public officials and interested individuals to encourage them to use Big data analysis and management skills to improve their organizations with more than 2300 students already completed the training, and lastly giving advice on Big Data implementation for analyzing and planning for the information system for the state organization to improve their efficiency in servicing the population with more than 40 completed projects.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
GBDi helps promote collaborations between the public sector for data integration and data utilization. GBDi helps create a platform for data exchange between hospitals, allows patient medical treatment information to flow across hospitals, supports doctors in medical diagnosis accuracy and seamless medical care for the patient, reduces costs spent on excessive medical examination for the patient. In an emergent incident such as COVID-19 pandemic, data integration, and data exchange are of crucial importance in managing such an elusive situation. GBDi together with Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, Urban Institute for Disease Prevention and Control, Hotline operators, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Department of Medical Services, Department of Health, Department of Communicable Disease Control, National Health Commission Office, Office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Health took part in designing data-sharing platform for managing bed availability, records of the infection, bed occupancy, COVID-19 test, and vaccines for the COVID-19 patient, under the name "Covid data Linkage Platform: CO-link". All the efforts resulted in people receiving aid systematically and reducing the loss for the individual.
In addition, GBDi collaborated with 11 public and private academic institutions to enhance Data Science skills for the employees to improve efficiency and to increase the competitiveness of the institutions.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
This project aims at data utilization, improving the efficiency of an organization and transpire development, and creation the most valuable work possible, and leading to eventual sustainable development goals.
Examples for GBDi alignment with SDGs 2030:
Goal 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages": one of the examples is building a platform for health information exchange between hospitals (Health Link), and the second one is a platform for data sharing for managing bed capacity, records of the infections, bed occupancy, COVID-19 tests, and vaccines for COVID-19 patients under the name "Covid data Linkage Platform (CO-link)". These are the two projects that fulfill this sustainable goal.
Goal 8 "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all": GBDi together with the Ministry of Labour work in designing and analyzing workforce data around the world to seek opportunities for Thai labor employment in foreign countries. Also, GBDi is building a tourism data promoting platform which integrates tourism data from both private and public institutes and allows Thai entrepreneurs to utilize this data for their business development
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
The services GBDi, including raising awareness of data utilization, data exchange between agencies based on data governance to enable the country to use data effectively, give rise to sustainable development in many regards, for example, the country's personnel development program in data analysis through on-the-job-training as well as building country's data-sharing platforms in various aspects. GBDi plans to extend its services in all dimensions, covering society, and economy, for instance, in the industrial department (the personnel development initiative with private sectors in the new industries or New S-Curve), in the social welfare department (data integration initiative that connects all state social welfare programs)
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
GBDi accomplishments manifest through many projects, for example, the support on systematic data storage, data quality assurance, and data catalog implementation to manage information systems within an organization, leading towards organizational digitization and digitalization in the public sector on the basis of state data governance. In addition, GBDi also promotes open data to the public, data sharing, and data connection to add more value to the data, increases capabilities of the public sector in serving the people, supports public organizations in utilizing data analytics to create new innovations as part of Smart Government initiative that is ready to give public services to the citizen.
From the framework outlined, in this way, GBDi will objectively solve data integration problems within the public sector because it first aims to lay a strong foundation for individual organizations regarding data management, before venturing into data integration, data sharing, all the way to data analytics. Furthermore, the collaboration between the public sector and GBDi shows what GBDi is capable of in terms of solving data integration problems. Following an emergent COVID-19 situation in Thailand, GBDi built a data integration platform, which manages bed capacity, records of the infections, bed occupancy, COVID-19 tests, and vaccines for COVID-19 patients under the name "Covid data Linkage Platform (CO-link)". As a result, GBDi receives a reputation from within the public sector and presents a competent workforce that is not only fast and up to the standard, but also holds an ambitious spirit from aspiring young talents.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
There is a bias towards male workers in this digital-related industry; only about 25% of jobs in technology are held by women in 2021. Women only hold about 14% of software engineering and 25% of computer-science-related jobs. GBDi helps reduce gender inequality within the industry by giving all gender orientations equal access to Data Science seminars to develop digital skills, Big Data analytics, and Data Science.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
GBDi's main target groups are bureaucrats and public officers appointed in any public institution, who encounters a technological disruption firsthand. This initiative helps equip them with necessary technological knowledge, Big Data potential and risks, and data analytics, without leaving anyone behind. While the government and public sector are rolling out digital transformation, these people are at the forefront of a new framework in the future. The target to receive positive impact from this initiative is eventually the population who will receive better services. Problems of all sorts will be resolved with much ease with the help of good data management, data integration across organizations, and data platform which benefits both the population and the private sector
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) by Government Big Data institute (GBDi) plays a key role in empowering the public sector through Big Data utilization, supporting a public and private sector data-sharing platform, cooperating with a total of 11 public and private academic institutions to equip Data Science skills to the public officials and interested individuals to encourage them to use Big data analysis and management skills to improve their organizations with more than 2300 students already completed the training, and lastly giving advice on Big Data implementation for analyzing and planning for the information system for the state organization in order to improve their efficiency in servicing the population with more than 40 completed projects.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
The main obstacle GBDi encounters was the preparedness from the public sector, be it on the data availability, human resources, or technological expertise required for data analytics, data sharing, and data integration. Many of these organizations are concerned to share their data to their partnership for various reasons, for example, the quality of the data, their issues on data management, and also the lack of understanding of data-related laws such as the Personal Protection Data Act (PDPA), or their own data policy act. These issues stated to act as an obstacle to the data integration goal for the public sector. The solution is then to educate them with the information on related issues and to solve their upcoming problems through collaboration from end to end, whether the problems are of the data management side, data quality assurance, or legal insight from the experts.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
There are a number of innovative transformations that GBDi brought to the country, one of which was the development of different platforms for data integration between different parties, such as, COVID-19 data platform, Health data platform, and Tourism data platform. Furthermore, GBDi introduces the technique of data analytics to the public organization; the technique which can find some useful insight from the existing data. Lastly, GBDi pushes the idea of Smart Governance to the public sector by undertaking Design Thinking sessions to public officers and executives to prepare them to think for challenges on Digital Transformation and data utilization
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
GBDi's COVID-19 data integration platform (Co-link) drew inspiration from similar data integration projects for epidemic management, such as mHero, an information system for resource management in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, which is also adopted in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in many African countries as well. In addition, CMC-19, which is a data exchange system for hospital networks in Chiang Mai Thailand during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, was also the basis for Co-link development later.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The innovation of this initiative is the development of different platforms for data integration between different parties, such as, COVID-19 data platform, Health data platform, and Tourism data platform which utilizes cutting-edge technology such as Big Data, Data Analytics, Data Engineering, Data Visualization. Those technologies promote useful data utilization, pushing public sectors towards Smart Governance and Digital Transformation.
As for the data integration platform for COVID-19 crisis management "Co-link", due to the vast amount of data, data processing technology must be used to handle the situation. GDCC and Google Cloud Platform are chosen for data processing and can handle the national-scale amounts of data very well without systematic failure. BigQuery is also used for improvement in merging many different data sources.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
Data integration platform from GBDi can be implemented for other different information systems, which is GBDi's future plans, for example, a platform for children and youth, a platform for government expenditure, a platform for agriculture.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
GBDi’s main focus is to support Big Data utilization, build a data-sharing platform, and upgrade Data Science skills for the workforce in the future. All of these goals require a large group of experts in Data Science and Data Engineering. As of now, GBDi has employed 50 Data Scientists and Data Engineers combined. GBDi also receives major supporting funds in the first period from Digital Economy and Society Development Fund and receives minor supporting funds from government expenditure through Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa).
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
The main driving force for GBDi sustainability over the long term is the endless necessity for data-related services from organizations within the country, whether it is to improve data quality, to implement Big Data systems, data management technology, or data analysis technology. Due to the current fast-paced evolution of data management technology, GBDi can improve and help public organizations and officials in all these aspects, and sustainably provide them with the necessary skills for the future.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
Assessment of the performance of project: Economic and Social Impacts by The Center for Economic and Business Forecasting(CEBF) of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
Economic and Social Impacts
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
The assessment results show that, from the output of this project, our three platforms: Travel Link - data analytics for tourism management in the "new normal" era, Health Link - a national health information exchange platform to link medical records of patients, and Co-Link - a platform for managing hospital beds for COVID-19 patients have a successful outcome and recognized the performance as an exceptional with high scores.
The assessment has shown that the three platforms have generated a total value of economic and social impacts worth about $48 million. These impacts are divided into:
$73,000 from knowledge gained
$3 million from cost savings for data linkage and system development
$3.2 million from budget savings for developing or improving systems and data collection
$12 million from lower expenses for patients needing to obtain medical records from their original hospital
$29 million from reduced government spending on environmental management and rehabilitation
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
GBDi signed MOU with 20 universities across the country in collaboration with a Data Science seminar for public organizations and interested individuals.
Furthermore, in data integration platform development project, GBDi signed MOU with institutions of the owner of the data to maximize the utility of shared data and distribute data to all other parties, for example, patient information exchange platform, associated parties are Ministry of digital economy and society, Ministry of Public Health, Krungthai Bank, The Medical Council of Thailand, and other private institutes.
As for the data integration platform, which manages bed capacity, records of the infections, bed occupancy, COVID-19 tests, and vaccines for COVID-19 patients under the name "Covid data Linkage Platform (CO-link)", associated parties are the Department of Medical Services, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), National Health Security Office (NHSO), Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Department of Disease Control (DDC), Bureau of Environmental Health, Ministry of Public Health, and Department of Medical Sciences.
The tourism data integration platform saw many parties involved, namely, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Ministry of Culture, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Immigration Bureau, and the National Statistical Office of Thailand.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
GBDi's engagement or collaboration strategy puts emphasis on organizations that are well-prepared at the policy level to facilitate the work towards success. At the start of every project, GBDi will enquire and meet the executive level of the organization to gain understanding and plan for future cooperation to reach the goal with confidence.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
The key lesson learned from past experiences was that most public organizations still lacked data that can be readily usable, due to incomplete data. Some organizations do not store data digitally, others stored data on their own departments, no data sharing between them.
In order to solve these issues, the most important thing is the support from chief executives by means of policy implementation, and cooperation from officials within the organization, cooperation in the digital transformation towards Smart Governance, utilize data to its fullest potential, leading to the benefits for the population and the country in solving problems efficiently and sustainably.