Since becoming Europe’s first epicentre for COVID-19, Lombardy in northern Italy has been a testing bench for managing the coronavirus. Last month, its Regional Forum for Research and Innovation (go.nature.com/3fmtupu) issued recommendations for responsible governance in those areas. Others might also find these recommendations useful during the pandemic.
I write on behalf of the forum, which is an independent advisory board. As well as emphasizing the importance of citizens’ participation in creating practical solutions to the crisis and its aftermath, it strongly recommends clarifying to the general public the role and limits of the public-health data on which policymakers’ decisions are based — just as data processed through artificial intelligence and algorithms must be openly scrutinized.
The forum also encourages contributions from voluntary human resources, citizen-science initiatives and social innovation organizations — for example, information on and support for the socio-economic and psychological impacts of lockdown measures against the virus. To help speed up resolution of the public-health crisis, the forum advises governments — and not just those in Lombardy — to coordinate and sustain the actions of organizations that can provide such collaborations.
Nature 581, 262 (2020)