I was keen to offer my data compiling skills and volunteer for the United Nations. I supported the integrated response to COVID-19 by analyzing epidemiological trends of the pandemic in Moldova.
It was towards the end of 2020 when COVID-19 was on the rise and headlines around the world only had pandemic news that I started exploring the UNV Portal for opportunities.
With an graduate degree in Biology from the United States of America and a post graduate degree from the United Kingdom, I began a volunteer assignment as an online volunteer with the Resident Coordinator's Office in the Republic of Moldova.
Moldova experienced a high COVID-19 infection rate, which stayed pretty steep throughout. Many countries had fluctuations with an increase and a decrease in infection and mortality rate but Moldova stayed on the high end.
This was a time when a decrease in the infection rate meant containment through lockdowns, behavioural campaigns and expanded COVID-19 testing. From a public health perspective, I found Moldova's experience of responding to the pandemic as an outlier. In this context I was glad to offer my help with my background in public health and my skills in data analytics."
The collaboration was titled 'Collect and update data on COVID-19 and tabulate in MS Excel.' I collected subnational epidemiological data on COVID-19 from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection. Epidemiological data refers to non-experimental observations, and includes population exposure levels and health effect values.
I also compiled data on the numer of vaccinations delivered and administered. On a weekly and monthly basis, this data was collated to produce updated analyses of epidemiological trends of the pandemic in the country.
Collaborating with colleagues in the Resident Coordinator's Office was a fantastic experience. As I am a recent graduate in public health, I got a chance to see how real-life data can be collected and effectively communicated."
Along with data collection, I also prepared graphics for UN Moldova COVID-19 Situational Reports. More than 55 reports were produced and shared with stakeholders in Moldova including the diplomatic missions, UN partners, international organizations such as SIDA, USAID, and government counterparts. In addition, the infographics I designed were part of UN Moldova COVID-19 Monthly Bulletins.
At times, we don't see the backstory of how certain trends are built and how we are able to report of something as big as this pandemic was. It happens through tangible measures.
My contribution to compiling data and pandemic visualization trends was the single point of reference for pandemic statistics for the international community."
UNV Online Volunteering Service offers a wide variety of assignments for online volunteering. @ UNV, 2023.