Joining Forces to Tap the Potential
of Data for Development

December 4, 2019
Marie-Helen Cymorek

What do big data sources like satellite imagery or mobile phone records bring to the table when it comes to sustainable development? Are innovative techniques like machine learning also applicable to our very own data treasure at GIZ - and what kinds of insights can we expect?

Does the combination of data science and regional expertise provide us with new answers to persistently challenging development questions? These are some of the questions the GIZ Data Lab has endeavored to answer since its founding in 2019. Through several targeted experiments, we aimed to deliver a development-focused “reality-check” using non-traditional data sources, creative methodologies, and an outside-the-box approach to traditional concepts.

In just over six months, we successfully established a strong network of innovative stakeholders around the globe. Together with experts like Prof. Dr. Danielle Wood (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Lejla Sadiku (UNDP), Derval Usher (Pulse Lab Jakarta), Frederic Pivetta (Dalberg Data Insights), and Prof. Dr. Richard Heeks (University of Manchester), we “Joined Forces to Tap the Potential of Data for Development.”

Our first conference, held in August of 2019 at GIZ in Eschborn, Germany, presented the preliminary results of our partnerships to a broader audience. Watch some of the highlights below: