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Global Pulse is exploring innovative methods and frameworks for combining new types of digital data with traditional indicators to track global development in real-time.



In collaboration with UN partners and public sector institutions, Global Pulse identifies problems that could be addressed through real-time monitoring of digital data. Following this, Global Pulse designs and conducts applied research projects. The projects aim to discover practical uses of Big Data to solve these challenges and prototype technology tools for monitoring development progress and tracking emerging vulnerabilities.
The Pulse Lab teams (which include multi- disciplinary expertise in data science, data engineering, data visualization, research coordination, legal & privacy, partnerships and communications) support UN agencies and development partners in conducting pilot-based evaluations of new tools and approaches within existing programmes and policy initiatives. Global Pulse also forges strategic public-private partnerships to secure access to sources of Big Data, state-of-the-art analytical tools, and expert advisors in the relevant technical fields.
The framework for joint innovation in the Lab moves through a cycle of consultations, project design and partnership engagement (to secure data, tools and expertise), followed by a period of investigation and prototyping. Finally, Pulse Labs and partners evaluate and share their findings, methodologies, successes and failures both internally and publicly with stakeholders.
Joint innovation projects provide unmatched opportunities for private sector, UN agencies, government institutions and academia to gain hands-on experience working together to apply Big Data innovations to solve problems.
In an effort to catalyse the use of Big Data and real-time analytics for global development, the innovation service offered by Pulse Labs is cross-sectoral, and projects cover a wide variety of areas, such as food prices and security, monitoring regional economic development, examining health issues and supplementing official surveys using digital information.
For more information about our research work, see our blog posts and descriptions of our ongoing projects.

Latest From The Research Blog

Exhibiting the Global Post-2015 Twitter Conversation

René Clausen Nielsen Sep 30, 2013
Global Pulse has partnered with the UN Millennium Campaign on a novel project that aims to shed insight on which Post-2015 relevant topics are talked most about by people on social media around the...

Searching for Digital Signals in Kenya

Eva Kaplan Sep 3, 2013
 Global Pulse is currently working with USAID on a feasibility study to understand what social data can tell us about loans, and people’s access to finance in Kenya. To start, we...

‘Tis the Season: Big Data for Development (PART I)

Anoush Rima Tatevossian Mar 8, 2013
  “Big Data for Development” is in the air and we couldn’t be more pleased to see the topic gaining traction. As described in a our previous post, Global Pulse’s vision involves raising...

Enhancing Public Policy Decision Making using Large-Scale Cell Phone Data

Vanessa Frias-Martinez and Enrique Frias-Martinze Sep 4, 2012
 This article is part of a special Global Pulse Guest Blogger Series: “Data Mining for Development: Methodological Innovations & Challenges.” Vanessa Frias-Martinez, PhD is a...

When Lone Travelers Meet: A Story of the Private Sector and UN Global Pulse Partnership

I-sah Hsieh Aug 22, 2012
  This guest blog post was written by I-sah Hsieh, Global Manager of International Development, SAS. Global Pulse worked with SAS on a project exploring unemployment through the lens of...

UNICEF Virtual Workshop on Big Data & Analytics

Global Pulse Aug 3, 2012
  Last week, Global Pulse collaborated with UNICEF on a workshop about the utilization of big data to enhance programme planning and monitoring. More than 120 UNICEF staff from 12 country...