The Geneva Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication
from 4-8 September 2023
Vodan Africa (Uganda)
Francisca Oladipo is a Professor of Computer Science and the Executive Coordinator, Virus Outbreak Data Network Africa, and Asia (VODANA). She also serves as Director of Quality Assurance and Head of Department of Computer Science, Federal University Lokoja (FUL) Nigeria. She was a member of the University’s Governing Council – the first female elected to the Council, and the first female Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University. Francisca, is a Consultant at the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences of Tilburg University, Netherlands and a member of the Globalization, Accessibility, Innovation and Care (GAIC) Research Network that includes Leiden University, Tilburg University, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), Leiden University medical Center (LUMC), Addis Ababa University, Mekelle University, Admas University, University de Sousse, Great Zimbabwe University and nine other universities in Africa.
She also serves functions as the International Projects Synergy and Support Lead, for the NUFFIC Regional and Ethiopia Projects for Kampala International University, and Dutch Partners. The two-part project is sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of foreign Affairs and, is facilitated by e-learning and data sharing in the Horn of Africa to develop and implement eLearning Systems to strengthen Security and Rule of Law; Food and Nutrition, specifically in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, and Northern Ethiopia under the Dutch Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) Initiative.
As the Executive Coordinator of VODANA, the Initiative has given Africa a place in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic through the deployment of 10 machine-actionable COVID-19 FAIR Data Points across Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands. She is currently leading the expansion of the initiative into Liberia, Tanzania, Somalia, China, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan.
Prof. Francisca is one of the inaugural Fellows of the Pan-Africa Scientific Research Council, a Grace Hopper Faculty Scholar and a fellowship alumna of the Heidelberg Laureate Foundation Germany, United States Department of State Exchange Program (TechWomen), Internet Engineering Task Force, the Women of Color in Computing, Widening Natural Language Processing, Women in Machine Learning, Black in Artificial Intelligence, etc. She is a two-time recipient of the PyCon USA Grant, the ACM FAT Fellowship in 2019 and 2020, and the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship of the ICML. She is an alumna of the prestigious Machine Learning Summer School and has been trained in Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics and Data Science at the Institute of Analytics and Data Science, University of Essex, UK, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain and the University of Oxford.
In addition to developing innovative curriculum for multidisciplinary research, Francisca is bridging the gaps between research and practice in the areas of Theoretical Computer Science and she has published numerous papers detailing her research experiences in both local and international journals and presented research papers in several international conferences. She is also a reviewer and editorial board member of many international scientific publications.
VODAN Africa has pioneered FAIR-Data Science for clinical patient and science data on COVID prevalence in nine countries in Africa. The concept is based on data visiting of data held in residence, and/or with strict data ownership controls. A return of data benefits to point of care is an explicit part of the model. The technical execution is based on data visiting of distributed data over the internet. The data is produced as both human and machine-readable instances. A proof of concept was realised in September 2020 and a Minimal Viable Product will be tested in September 2021. The approach resolved critical issues of data management in view of GDPR and the need for increased data protection in Africa which has suffered from data extraction, including in relation to health data. The research is a project if the Virus Outbreak data Network (VODAN) – Africa and Asia. It is coordinated by Kampala International University. It received seed funding from the Philips Foundation and support from the Dutch Development Bank, Philips Foundation, Cordaid and the Go-FAIR Foundation.
Slides available here: https://zenodo.org/record/5482330