With a record 400 registered participants and 128 attendees for its first webinar session, UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development
successfully kicked off its SD Talks Special Series on Data for Sustainable Development
in partnership with Data-Pop Alliance
on 30 March 2017.
The first webinar of the series titled “Big Data: What is it and how can it contribute to Sustainable Development?’’
was delivered by Dr. Emmanuel Letouzé
, Director and Co-Founder of Data-Pop Alliance and Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab. The session opened with an overview of the historical context and significance of the question and the description of a framework conceptualizing Big Data as an ecosystem rather than just large datasets; it then discussed its potential for monitoring progress across Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including through examples of research projects that have used data analytics for studying poverty, literacy, criminality, and mobility; it ended by covering key hurdles and requirements beyond measurement considerations, such as fostering data literacy, direct control over data and local data ecosystems, for effectively leveraging and shaping Big Data in support of sustainable development.