Where We Work

The UN Global Pulse Network consists of offices, also called Pulse Labs, that operate in Jakarta, Indonesia; Kampala, Uganda; Helsinki, Finland; and UN Headquarters in New York. The Labs work with partners on developing digital innovation projects and tools in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Pulse Labs

UN Global Pulse brings together governments, UN entities and partners from academia and the private sector to test, refine and scale methods for using big data and AI to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Labs consist of multidisciplinary teams of data scientists, engineers, designers, social scientists, communication experts, and data privacy and legal experts.

Pulse Lab New York

Pulse Lab New York, established in 2009, serves as the headquarters of UN Global Pulse and is the thought-leadership and knowledge sharing hub for its distributed network advacing innovation in the UN’s work for people and planet. The Lab is integrated into the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General.

Pulse Lab Jakarta

Pulse Lab Jakarta was set up in 2012 to facilitate more agile policy responses to better protect vulnerable populations from the impacts of global crises. The Lab is a joint initiative of the United Nations and the Government of Indonesia, via UN Global Pulse and the Ministry of National Development and Planning (Bappenas).

Pulse Lab Kampala

Pulse Lab Kampala opened its doors in 2014 as the first innovation office in Africa working to develop data-driven applications for the local context. It is an inter-agency initiative under the leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda and its work contributes to the ‘Delivering as One’ approach.

Pulse Lab Finland

Pulse Lab Finland joined the network in 2020. The Lab engages with a variety of partners to develop, co-create, and promote technology and innovation solutions, including cross-sector collaborations with government ministries, NGOs, development banks, academia, and the private sector.

Creating An Innovation Ecosystem

The Pulse Labs design, scope, and co-create projects with UN Agencies and public sector institutions who provide sectoral expertise, and with the private sector or academic partners who often provide access to data or analytical and engineering tools. 

In-country Pulse Lab locations are self-selected, taking geographic balance into consideration. Host countries must express an explicit interest in hosting a lab and must be willing to share lessons, experiences and findings with labs in other countries.  

By sharing their breakthroughs, the Pulse Labs help establish and mainstream global best practices of using new data sources and emerging technologies for the public good. 

A ‘lab environment’ provides a space for technologies and analysis techniques to be tried rapidly and iteratively, where teams can learn from each other, and from other labs and contribute knowledge to a larger ecosystem.

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