As nations, NGOs, and development organizations from around the world strive to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, they need to be data-driven and interconnected. In order for sustainable development to be successful, open source technologies, open data, and collaboration are critical. Location Intelligence, the next evolution of GIS, is a key component in the open technological ecosystem necessary for attaining the SDGs.
Adopted in September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) are 17 ambitious and wide-ranging targets set by the UN member states, with the overall aim to meet the goals by 2030. One of the key groups working to democratize global data access towards meeting the SDGs is the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. The Global Partnership is a network of over 300 partner organizations, ranging from governments, to academia, to corporations and tech startups, working in concert to harness global data and make it more open for those looking to achieve the SDGs and improve our world.
Data for Development Festival
Their upcoming and inaugural Data for Development Festival, running March 21st through March 23rd in Bristol, UK provides a unique opportunity for members of the Global Partnership to meet and work together. With over 40 sessions spread across the three days, the festival will allow partners ample opportunity to exchange ideas and discover the latest technologies and tactics in the field of data and sustainable development. With partners from across regions, fields, and industries present, the festival is fertile ground for the genesis of new collaborations and connections that would otherwise be impossible to create.
The Data Dive
As a proud member of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, CARTO is thrilled to be organizing the Bristol Data Dive, taking place following the festival and open to the wider data science community.
Effective and inclusive transportation systems are crucial elements needed to facilitate the achievement of the SDGs. Access to employment, social services, health services, functional infrastructure, and overall safety on public roads can only be achieved by data-driven traffic management and policy implementation.
Focusing on datasets from Bristol, UK and Bogota, Colombia, the Dive will challenge data scientists and development practitioners to use Location Intelligence tools to identify the most pressing transportation and mobility problems that these cities face, the sources of these problems, and to begin to ideate around possible solutions.
With geospatial experts on hand, the Data Dive is an opportunity for participants at all skill levels to gain hands-on experience using spatial analytics in concert with local data sets to derive insights and solve problems.
For those participating in the dive, CARTO is sponsoring a post-dive happy hour at Pitcher and Piano to celebrate the first of many collaborations where we explore new ways to leverage data and Location Intelligence to improve our world. The drinks are on us!
Standardizing APIs and Open Datasets with API Highways
The Global Partnership is currently revamping their API Highways project, a hub for current and future partners to make collaboration towards the SDGs even easier. API Highways seeks to empower the Global Partnership community in several key ways. First, API Highways will be a repository of clean and useful APIs, all adhering to the partnership’s standards for ease of use for developers. Second, The program will provide a ‘playbook’ for data providers to create their own APIs, allowing their work to be seamlessly integrated by the global development community while adhering to those same standards.
Third, API Highways will act as a conduit for democratized data sets. With goals like eliminating hunger, and partners working in every corner of the world, promoting best practices and standards, and creating a central hub for useful datasets is absolutely critical.
The SDGs are made up of 17 goals, 169 targets, and 233 indicators – but there are major challenges on available data for monitoring progress. By making your data available in API Highways, you're joining the global effort to harness the data revolution so we can fill this critical data gap and design informed policies that not only help us measure and achieve the SDGs but allow us to prioritize those most marginalized and vulnerable populations around the world.
Aditya Agrawal, Director, Data Ecosystems Team, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Turning Sustainable Development Data into Location Intelligence Apps
The Global Partnership also aims to make transforming datasets into applications and visualizations as easy as possible for partners. By providing information, access, and training on a Location Intelligence platform, the partnership empowers its members to use spatial analytics to draw new insights that will not only inform their own work but the work of fellow partners. The below example uses CARTO to investigate and map the relationship between global protected areas and instances of conflict. Partners can use Location Intelligence apps and spatial analytics to similarly explore the relationships between their data and the open data sets that the Global Partnership is working to democratize.
Are you involved in Open Source Tech or the Sustainable Development Goals?
Whether you are working on the ground, building programs that can help the global community to meet the UN SDGs or tech company, enthusiastic about open source, the Global Partnership is a force multiplier. The Partnership empowers its members with the knowledge, resources, and connections to amplify their impact. Only by partnering together and bringing a wider pool of knowledge and skills to bear, will achieving the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals be within our reach. Learn more about becoming a partner today.