Global Pulse at the 71st UN General Assembly

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World leaders are gathering this week for the 71st UN General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York. UN Global Pulse, along with collaborators and partners, is involved in a number of side events related to data innovation for sustainable development and humanitarian action.

Below is a selected list of relevant meetings and workshops:  

Annual Meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development

Sunday 18 September 2016 (by invitation)

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development brings together Heads of State, CEOs and industry leaders, and senior representatives of international agencies and academia to engage in high-level advocacy to promote broadband in developing countries and underserved communities. The Broadband Commission will hold its Annual Meeting in New York on 18 September 2016 to address the questions of how to build on broadband and ensure that no one is left behind, convinced that deployment of broadband will play a critical role in achieving  the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).?

UN Global Pulse Director Robert Kirkpatrick has been a member of the Commission since 2015 and is pleased to give a short intervention highlighting examples of big data for sustainable development at this year's meeting.

Read the Commission's latest report "The State of Broadband 2016: Broadband Catalyzing Sustainable Development" here.

1 Year of the #DataRevolution for the Global Sustainable Development Goals

Wednesday 21 September 2016 (registration)

One year ago, a diverse set of government, business and civil society actors came together to commit to harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. They formed the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, which launched in September 2016 during the UN General Assembly. This event will feature updates on the Partnership’s core priorities and showcase some of the innovative collaborations and ambitious commitments to action it has catalyzed.

“Making Every Woman and Girl Count”

Wednesday 21 September 2016 (event information)

This event, jointly organized by UN Women, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Data2X (United Nations Foundation) and the Government of Australia, will mark the launch of a new public-private partnership to support UN Women’s “Making Every Woman and Girl Count” programme – which seeks to address the urgent need to increase availability of accurate information on gender equality and women’s rights in order to inform policy and decision making. The event will provide an opportunity for world leaders to discuss how the global community’s efforts will help to close gender data gaps and contribute to sustainable development and better results for all.

High Level Event: Harnessing the Data Revolution for Climate Resilience

Thursday 22 September 2016 (by invitation)

The event, co-sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of State, and World Resources Institute, will highlight how the data revolution and public-private collaborations for building climate resilience are creating more timely, accessible, user-friendly, and user-customizable data to support decision making. The event will feature senior U.S. Administration officials, senior officials from governments around the world, and leaders from private-sector companies and civil-society organizations, who will discuss progress in developing innovative solutions and announce commitments to open data in support of climate-resilience planning and action.

As part of the event, UN Global Pulse will share updates on Data for Climate Action, a global campaign to unlock new data sources and harness data science for climate action.

For information, visit:

Using Data to Better Understand Migration

Thursday 22 September 2016 (by invitation)

This event co-organized by the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Mali and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will focus on the possibilities and limitations of (big) data analytics in informing policy on a number of topics, in order to better manage migration at the national, regional and global level.

UN Data Innovation Lab Workshop

Thursday 22 and Friday 23 September 2016 (by invitation)

UN Global Pulse and UNDP will host a two-day workshop on how to develop and design a data innovation project from idea to proof-of-concept at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York.

The event is one of a six-part workshop series under the United Nations System Chief Executives Board (CEB) portfolio of initiatives meant to catalyze the data revolution for sustainable development across the UN system. The aim is to connect UN agencies with private sector leaders, experts and entrepreneurs in the field of technology, data and innovation to share knowledge on how new data sources can be utilised to enhance sustainable development programmes.

Read about the first workshop of the Data Innovation Lab series here.

Data Playground

Friday 23 September, 2016 (registration open)

The UN SDG Action Campaign, Microsoft and UN Global Pulse are organizing the third annual Data Playground, an evening reception showcasing data innovation for sustainable development and humanitarian action across the UN. This year’s event emphasizes the importance of ‘smart’ partnerships around using new technologies and data collection methods for the public good, with special focus on the refugee crisis.

The event will kick off with a special panel discussion on Data Partnerships for the SDGs, featuring senior representatives from the UN, public and private sectors. The evening will continue with creative displays of citizen data collection, interactive visualizations, big data analyses, and impactful storytelling projects.

Space is limited so make sure to RSVP to ensure your participation.

Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange event

Sunday 25 September, 2016 (registration open)

The Data for Good Exchange is the second annual conference on applications of data science to problems related to the social good. This forum enables participants from academia, industry, government and NGOs to share insights and progress on applying modern machine learning and data science methods to problems in public and non-profit sectors.

UN Global Pulse is pleased to join a panel discussion on "Decoding the SDGs: Data Solutions for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals", and present a new scientific paper entitled "Using Financial Transaction Data to Measure the Resilience of Communities to Natural Disasters", which was developed in partnership with the Spanish bank BBVA.

For more event information and registration details, visit:


For additional lists of events related to the topic of a Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, visit: and

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