Data innovation promotes development

Global pulse
A woman USES a radio in Kampala, Uganda. Through a tool developed by its Kampala lab, global pulse USES big data to analyze radio content of public interest and help decision makers make decisions about the priorities of people in the ugandan community.
Big data
The amount of data in the world is growing exponentially. About 90 per cent of the data was created in the past two years and is expected to grow by 40 per cent each year. But much of the data produced is "data waste" -- data passively collected from everyday interactions with digital products or services such as mobile phones, credit CARDS and social media. This flood of data is called big data. Data is growing because it is increasingly collected from vast amounts of cheap information perception and mobile devices, and since the 1980s the world's capacity to store information has doubled about every 40 months.

The data revolution
The data revolution, including open data movement, the rise of crowdsourcing, the emergence of new data-gathering information and communication technologies, the explosion of availability of big data, and the emergence of artificial intelligence and the Internet of things, is transforming society. Advances in computing and data science have made real-time processing and analysis of big data a reality. The new data obtained through data mining can supplement the official statistics and survey data and promote the accumulation of human behavior and experience information. The combination of new data and traditional data can create more detailed, timely and relevant high-quality information.

The opportunity to
Data is the most important factor influencing the decision, and it is the source of responsibility. In today's private sector, big data analytics (data sets that are large and complex and need to be analyzed with software) are everywhere, driving sales through consumer analytics, personalized services and predictive analytics. In addition, with similar technology, real-time data on people's living standards can be obtained to provide targeted assistance interventions for vulnerable groups. New sources of data, new technologies and new analytical methods, if properly applied, can better monitor progress towards the SDGS to ensure inclusion and equity.

To capture the opportunities offered by big data, the basic elements of human rights must be safeguarded: privacy, ethics and respect for data sovereignty. Individual rights and collective interests need to be assessed. Most of the new data is collected from people's "digital footprints" or devices with sensing capabilities, or from algorithmic extrapolations. The combination of these data can lead to individuals or groups being identified, exposing them to potential harm. Therefore, appropriate data protection measures must be taken to prevent data abuse or improper processing.

There is also a risk of increased inequality and prejudice. There is a huge gap between those who own the data and those who lack it. If no action is taken, the world will be divided, unequally, along a new frontier between the knowers and the unknowns. Many are excluded from the new world of data and information because of language barriers, poverty, lack of education, lack of technological infrastructure, remoteness or prejudice and discrimination. A wide range of global action is required, including capacity-building in all countries, particularly the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states.

Big data for development and humanitarian action
In 2015, the world began a new development agenda based on the sustainable development goals. Implementation of these goals requires a comprehensive response to social, environmental and economic challenges, with a focus on inclusive and participatory development and no one left behind.

Critical data for global, regional and national development decisions remains inadequate. Many countries still do not have adequate data on all national populations, particularly on the poorest and most marginalized groups. To eradicate extreme poverty, achieve zero emissions and "leave no one behind" by 2030, national leaders must focus on these groups.

Big data is collected at the individual level, so it can reveal social differences that were not visible in previous demographic aggregates. For example, women and girls who often work in the informal sector or at home are socially restricted in mobility and marginalized in private and public decision-making.

Most of the big data most likely to be used for public good is collected by the private sector. Public-private partnerships are likely to become more common in this regard. The key is to ensure that the relationship continues and that there is a clear framework for defining the roles and expectations of the parties.

The role of the United Nations
One of the key roles of the United Nations and other international or regional organizations is to establish guidelines within the international community for collective action to promote big data security for development and humanitarian action, consistent with common norms. These standards seek to enhance the effectiveness of data through significant improvements in openness and transparency, to avoid abuse of personal and collective data that leads to privacy violations and human rights abuses, and to minimize inequalities in the generation, access and use of data.

The secretary-general's independent advisory group of experts on the data revolution for sustainable development has made specific recommendations on how to address these challenges, calling for a united nations-led effort to make the data revolution serve and promote sustainable development.

Foster and promote innovation to bridge the data gap.

2. Mobilize resources to eliminate inequalities between developed and developing countries and between groups with insufficient and abundant data.

3. Strengthen leadership and coordination to enable the data revolution to play its full role in achieving sustainable development.

The use of big data is accelerating throughout the United Nations system, and an increasing number of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes are using or expanding the use of operational applications for development and humanitarian activities.

The United Nations development group issued general guidelines on data privacy, data protection and data ethics for big data collected in real time by private sector entities in operational activities and Shared with members of the development group to support the actual implementation of projects and the implementation of the 2030 agenda.

The inaugural UN world data BBS was held in January 2017, bringing together more than 1,400 data users and producers from the public and private sectors, policymakers, academics and civil society to explore how to harness the power of data for sustainable development. The BBS has achieved important results, including the launch of the Cape Town global action plan for sustainable development data.

United Nations global pulse
Global pulse is an innovative initiative of the UN secretary-general to accelerate the discovery, development and use of big data as a public good. Global ripple through distributed in New York, Kampala and Jakarta's innovation laboratory network work, these laboratory in collaboration with the United Nations agencies and governments, large test new sources of data, research how to use these new sources to bridge the information gap, or provide new data, either at a faster and cheaper way of producing the known information.

In an effort to make data safe and responsible, global pulse has created a data privacy program to study the protective use of privacy for big data for humanitarian and development purposes. Global pulse has set up a data privacy advisory group consisting of privacy experts from regulators, the private sector and academia to explore important issues related to big data and to advise on the development of UN privacy tools and guidelines. To better understand the threats associated with big data, global pulse has proposed a "risk, hazard and benefit assessment" tool that consists of two steps, including guidelines to help practitioners assess the proportionality of risks, hazards and utility in data-driven projects.

Global pulse is also involved in organizing a series of data innovation laboratory workshops led by UNICEF and the world food programme. The series consists of five thematic workshops designed to understand existing data innovation capabilities and needs within the United Nations system.

Public-private partnerships
Global pulse continues to work with the private sector to explore so-called "data philanthropy" to make data safe and responsible for sustainable development and humanitarian action. In 2016, for example, global pulse partnered with the social media network twitter.

Every day, people around the world tweet hundreds of millions of times in dozens of languages. Such social conversations contain real-time information on a wide range of issues, including food prices, jobs, access to health care, the quality of education and natural disaster reporting. Through this partnership, United Nations development and humanitarian agencies are able to translate public data into actionable information to help communities around the globe.

Other partnerships include the global mobile communications association's big data for social good initiative, which leverages mobile operators' big data capabilities to address humanitarian crises such as pandemics and natural disasters; Climate action data challenge, which connects researchers around the world with data and tools from leading companies to develop data-driven climate solutions; "Data collaboration", a new form of collaboration outside the public-private partnership model, allows participants from different sectors, especially enterprises, to exchange data and create public value.