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A BIG DEAL: How can we use big data to measure poverty in Sudan?

12 Jan 2016

Anisha Thapa, in collaboration with Miguel Luengo – Oroz, Anne Kahl, Abdalatif Hassan, Jennifer Colville and Vasko Popovski As development practitioners in Sudan, we are facing a major challenge in effectively managing our programmes:  the generation of reliable data to regularly monitor development impact, in particular related to changes in household poverty. As part of the cross regional initiative on big data for development exploration, UNDP Sudan is now working to explore how new sources of data can measure key development indicators. As many other countries, Sudan faces multiple challenges in acquiring frequent and adequate data to assess situation changes and measure implementation of development programmes. Household surveys and censuses are expensive, time consuming, and demand elaborate processes and resources for data collection and analysis. In addition, the intensification of armed conflict in many parts of the country hinder accessibility to these areas for data collection through traditional methods. Timely measurement of indicators, such as poverty thereby suffers, resulting in data gaps that negatively affect efficient adjustments to development interventions and programming.   Electricity and lights at night as proxies for poverty: What we found? With support from UNDP and UN Global Pulse partnership on big data for development spanning across … Read more

Can design-thinking create jobs for conflict-affected unemployed youth in Darfur?

30 Nov 2015

For thousands of young people in Darfur, the long-lasting conflict has deprived them of their rights as youth and left gaps in their education. Youth unemployment is increasingly recognized as a driver of instability as employments opportunities are scarce and many chose to enter into conflict due to the lack of other opportunities. Concerned by this trend, UNDP works to create livelihoods and employment for youth in Darfur.  However, the persons who are facing the problem themselves – youth - are also most likely to come up with new and innovative solutions to tackle this problem. Therefore, UNDP has recently launched a challenge to get young citizens engaged in developing innovative solutions to their own problems. Interested youth can submit their idea on the online platform Raik Shino, where other participants and the public can comment and further develop the ideas. Youth unemployment as a driver of conflict in Darfur Sudan faces a significant unemployment problem that affects young people especially hard. Even though there is no statistical data on unemployment in Sudan, the official overall unemployment is estimated at around 20%, with youth unemployment expected to be much higher. In the conflict-affected Darfur, the average youth unemployment is estimated to … Read more

UNDP and the British Council invites youth from the Horn of Africa region to submit project proposals to use the arts to work towards peace and development

04 Nov 2015

On 28 October, UNDP and the Horn of Africa Leadership for Action (HOLLA) project of the British Council launched a new initiative calling for proposals from the youth from the Horn of Africa to develop ideas for how to use art and creativity to work towards peace, social development and wellbeing. The challenge will run on UNDP’s online game platform, Raik Shino, developed and recently launched by UNDP Sudan. Raik Shino, meaning “what do you think” in Sudanese Arabic, was initially developed to provide a forum for Sudanese people to interact and discuss the future of Sudan. With this new initiative, the platform is now open to include two other countries in the Horn of Africa region-South Sudan and Ethiopia. Under this initiative, we invite the youth from Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia to develop proposals answering the following question: “What is your idea for a project that uses the arts and creativity to work towards peace and positive social development and wellbeing in your community, country and/or the Horn of Africa.” The platform is currently open for submission of proposals until 21 November. Guidelines of the call for proposals can be found here. Winners will receive mentoring support from the … Read more

Building Peace through Technology

16 Jun 2015 by Inaam Salih

A couple of months back, I had the chance to attend this year’s Build Peace conference focusing on the use of technology in establishing alternative infrastructures for peace in all communities, specifically vulnerable ones. The approaches to peace that were shared, unpacked and discussed centred on empowerment, behavioral change and impact. … Read more

Beyond BigData: Innovation in Development Evaluation

15 Apr 2015 by Maximilian Stern

Collecting data becomes more and more important to development aid. With the spread of digital information tools, the amount of information available within the development context has increased dramatically. Not only has the processing of traditional data – financial accounting, Inventory, stock of drugs, etc. – become much easier and cheaper. But also new and big data has emerged: Metadata on mobile phone or internet usage, banking transactions and many more. The value of this data has been recognized by all actors in development aid: Organizations are eager to present data in order to prove their effectiveness and efficiency to donors and to the public whilst  donors are analyzing this data to administer their aid portfolios. Nowadays, data transparency is key to success in in the development sector. However, the new addiction to data has led to an increased demand in measurability also within areas that were traditionally considered as barely measurable. Particularly development aid organizations are widely engaged in activities that are hard to capture in numbers: Supporting local authorities in developing accountable, effective and efficient workflows, for example. Or advising communities in conflict prevention. Clearly, it is possible to measure inputs: Number of workshops conducted, or hours of consultant … Read more

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