One of the biggest challenges of responding to fast-moving global crises on a human level, is that by the time governments figure out what is happening via surveys, reports and censuses — the damage has already been done. Families fall into poverty, children are pulled from school, and the lives of the poorest are put into jeopardy.
But due to the explosion of online and mobile data (often referred to as “Big Data” because of how much of it is created everyday), for the first time in history we have the opportunity to better understand when a negative trend is happening in real-time, and inform policies and programs to help prevent harm before it’s too late.
Our new animation seeks to explain how macro socioeconomic trends – something we usually think of as affecting whole countries – effect the lives of individual people. And how aggregate analysis of real-time digital data could help inform more timely and targeted responses to support communities at the times when they are most vulnerable.
Of course, the application of big data to global development is a new science. That is why Global Pulse is focused on leading innovative research to figure out what technology tools, analytical methods, and data sources will give governments and UN agencies the best information — the fastest. Thus helping them achieve their missions and protect the vulnerable.