Crisis Insights Team, a UN inter-agency initiative for crisis response that the Secretary-General tasked UN Global Pulse with setting up and managing.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, our teams have been
working tirelessly to support the UN’s response with complex analytics,
artificial intelligence, and policies.
These efforts fall under the umbrella of the Crisis Insights Team, a UN inter-agency initiative for crisis response that the Secretary-General tasked UN
Global Pulse with setting up and managing.

The health response to Covid-19
Mapping the spread of Covid-19
and the impact of public health interventions in Cox’s Bazar and
other refugee camps

To support data-driven decision making in response to Covid-19, a team made up of Cox’s Bazar public health and information management professionals from UNHCR and WHO, scientists and domain experts from UN Global PulseUNHCR InnovationOCHA, and academics from Durham University and IBM/MIT, is working to model the impact of different public health interventions in Cox’s Bazar. The team has been simulating the effects of various interventions that could help the refugee operation stay ahead of the pandemic. Managing the infodemics

Understanding the Covid-19 pandemic in real-time 

Falsehoods, which can range from deliberate lies to genuine confusion and errors, often travel alongside novel threats like Covid-19. Our team in
New York is working with the WHO Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) using artificial intelligence to analyse radio coverage for trends in misinformation such as  rumours around vaccines, promotions of false cures, and discussions about financial hardships.
We are also part of the WHO-led inter-agency effort  on managing

Tapping into the value of data for better lives
With stronger data systems, the value of data can be increased to tackle mis- and disinformation and improve lives. Following an analysis of publicly reported data on Covid-19 across Indonesia, our team in Pulse Lab
Jakarta identified systemic conditions in the country-wide data ecosystem that can be improved. Safeguarding lives and livelihoods 

Building capacity to generate statistics from mobile phone records to support Covid-19 response

National Bureaus of Statistics (NBSs), which are the custodians and main producers of data at national level, are increasingly experimenting with
the use of big data, especially in the context of Covid-19. In response to requests from statisticians in Africa, we conducted a series of webinars to
build the capacity of NBSs to use anonymised mobile phone data for decision-making in response to this pandemic and future crises. 

Alternative use of traditional data in times of Covid-19 

Integrating traditionally collected data with Facebook Population Density Map, here’s how our team in Jakarta  joined forces with Jabar Digital Service and the Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) to identify areas in West Java, Indonesia based on their transmission risk and transmission potential for the spread of Covid-19.

Protecting human rights during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond 

At this year’s UN General Assembly we organized a high-level side event, together with OHCHR and Access Now, where experts discussed the
implications of digital contact tracing, the use of biometric and health-related data, and other technological interventions on human rights, specifically the right to privacy, during Covid-19. The event proposed solutions to ensure that such technologies and data can be used safely and transparently in the future to address similar crises.In other news …

 UN hosts first AIS big data hackathon. 

The first AIS Big Data Hackathon took place last month and there emerged great ideas that we want to share with you. The hackathon was organized by the United Nations Statistics Division, along with UNCTAD, UN Global Pulse, Marine Traffic, and CCRi.

 Pulse Lab Jakarta repositioning 2.0. Our lab in Jakarta is transitioning from being a “Big Innovation Lab” to becoming an “Analytic Partnerships Accelerator” in order to play a more impactful role across Indonesia’s ecosystem and beyond. Here is how. 

UN Open GIS: Geo-AI Working Group. A GEO-AI Working Group was established in 2020 to experiment with and integrate AI technology into the wider UN Open GIS Initiative’s workflow. The group is co-chaired by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN Global Pulse. 

Updated Principles on Data Protection and PrivacyWe recently updated our Principles on Data Protection and Privacy to help ensure that individuals and groups of individuals whose data is used by our organization are not adversely affected by our projects.

The UN World Data Forum. 
We organized two events at this year’s virtual forum.
The first discussed challenges and solutions relating to the safe and trustworthy use of AI systems.
The second looked at the technical infrastructure necessary to facilitate access to quality data through the development of a Global Data Access Framework

We would like to thank our donors: the Government of Australia, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Government of Indonesia, the Government of Sweden, the WHO Solidarity Fund, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for supporting the network of Pulse Labs.

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