Sheryl Sandberg | Chief Operating Officer, Facebook
When Facebook launched the Data for Good program in 2017, we never imagined it would play a role so soon in response to a truly global emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a public health crisis, but also a social and economic one. It has caused hardship in every part of the world, but its impact hasn’t been felt equally. It has hit women and the most disadvantaged communities the hardest – something this work has helped shine a light on.
In response to the pandemic, Facebook has been part of an unprecedented collaboration between technology companies, the public sector, universities, nonprofits and others. Our partners operate in some of the most challenging environments in the world, where lengthy analysis and debate is often a luxury they don’t have. The policies that govern delivery of vaccines, masks, and financial support can mean the difference between life and death. By sharing tools that provide real-time insights, Facebook can make decision-making on the ground just a little bit easier and more effective.
This report highlights some of the ways Facebook data – shared in a way that protects the privacy of individuals – assisted the response efforts to the pandemic and other major crises in 2020. I hope the examples included help illustrate what successful data sharing projects can look like, and how future projects can be improved. Above all, I hope we can continue to work together in 2021 and beyond to save lives and mitigate the damage caused by the pandemic and any crises that may follow.
Download the 2020 Annual Report here