UN PULSE LAB JAKARTA TO USE DIGITAL DATA TO HELP DEVELOPMENT
UN Photo / Devra Berkowitz
Using digital data resources to help plan and develop a countries’ economy and the wellbeing of its citizens. That is the aim of Pulse Lab Jakarta, a research facility in the Indonesian capital that was officially opened by the United Nations and the Indonesian National Planning Agency on Tuesday.
The research center, which brings together UN researchers, academia and experts from the government and private sector, will focus on bringing together data recourses across sectors and use data analytics to discover trends in society. Data sources like hospital and crime records, government data, economic and social media can be used to generate an oversight about the impact that socio-economic changes, like inflation or social unrest have on a population.
Indonesia, whose citizens’ rank among the most connected through social media also has a fast-growing technical business sector. It’s therefore one of the world’s biggest sources of data. In the right hands, this data can help policy makes put safety nets in place well ahead of time, if a socio-economic crisis seems to be on the rise.
“Indonesia is a country where new approached in development can be pioneered, “said El-Mostafe Benlamlih. He further noted that other countries might benefit from Indonesia’s bold approach to innovative data research.
During the launch of the research center, Jakarta Pulse Lab unveiled that their first project identified content from Indonesian blogs and social media over the past 2 years. Combined with data about the price and supply of food and fuel, and analysis was done to quantify trends in behavior, and to see which people experienced stress under rising commodity prices or decreasing supply.
Pulse Lab Jakarta is part of the Un Global Pulse Project, an initiative by the secretary-general to create a new data landscape. Using digital data and analytics to predict oncoming economic crises can help the United Nations to protect the most vulnerable populations in a region, those who otherwise would be engulfed by the crisis without warning.