Istanbul, Turkey, October 22, 2021 - UNDP IICPSD SDG AI Lab in collaboration with United Nations Volunteers hosted Demo Day - Fall 2021 to showcase innovative digital solutions for sustainable development and SDGs. At the webinar SDG AI Lab presented new projects under its Volunteer Data Scientists Initiative and digital products developed by the team.

Technological advancement leads the way forward for the achievement of the SDGs. As the Covid pandemic is still ravaging across the world, frontier technologies have been playing even more important role than before. In this context, SDG AI Lab has been harnessing the potential of frontier digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and GIS for sustainable development and SDGs.

SDG AI Lab actively works with volunteer data scientists on SDGs-related digital projects through its Volunteer Data Scientists Initiative supported by the UN Volunteers. The Lab with its volunteers has developed 10 projects addressing development issues such as poverty, climate change and others.

Ms. Rimma Sabayeva, UN Volunteers Regional Manager for Europe and CIS, shared that Volunteer Data Scientists Initiative is one of the good examples on promoting digital transformation through volunteerism. She mentioned that: “The demand in the data science assignments is growing within the UN. This unique initiative helps to respond to this demand through collaboration between onsite and online volunteers, bringing together more than 60 talented data scientists from 33 countries working on digital projects for SDGs.”

On the significance of volunteerism and cooperation for SDGs, Mr. Babatunde Abidoye, UNDP Global Policy Advisor for SDG Integration, quoted: “We need everybody to be on board, including UNDP colleagues and volunteers to move forward to support the achievement of the SDGs with the frontier technologies.”

On the webinar, SDG AI Lab also introduced digital products, such as Country Program Document (CPD) Document Analyzer, Data Science for SDGs (DS4SDGs) Course, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Digital Technologies Radar and Digital Social Vulnerability Index (DSVI), among which the later attracted much attention.

DSVI Project: the map shows social vulnerability assessment in Haiti.

Digital Social Vulnerability Index automatically estimates social vulnerability to stressors such as climate change, natural disasters, and social shocks through household surveys. The prototyped solution presents the results with an interactive high-resolution map of a vulnerability metric to selected hazards. With the help of technologies including GIS, AI, and Machine Learning, DSVI has significant advantages over traditional methods by reducing time and resources for data processing, calculations, and visualization with more accurate estimates.

Demo Day - Fall 2021 also re-confirmed SDG AI Lab’s determination to make full use of frontier technologies and find more digital solutions for sustainable development through joint efforts with UN Volunteers.

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