Giving Compass' Take:
- Nick Martin shares four insights from experts who are leveraging data science for social good and helping achieve the SDGs.
- How can philanthropic capital help advance data science?
- Read more about data science for social good.
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As the world struggles to achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the need for reliable data to track our progress is more important than ever. Government, civil society, and private sector organizations all play a role in producing, sharing, and using this data, but their information-gathering and -analysis efforts have been able to shed light on only 68 percent of the SDG indicators so far, according to a 2019 UN study.
To help fill the gap, the data science for social good (DSSG) movement has for years been making datasets about important social issues—such as health care infrastructure, school enrollment, air quality, and business registrations—available to trusted organizations or the public. Large tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others have recently begun to embrace the DSSG movement. Spurred on by advances in the field, the Development Data Partnership, the World Economic Forum’s 2030 Vision consortium, and Data Collaboratives, they're offering information about social media users’ mobility during COVID-19, cloud computing infrastructure to help nonprofits analyze large datasets, and other important tools and services.
To help find answers, TechChange, an organization dedicated to using technology for social good, partnered with Project17, Facebook’s partnerships-led initiative to accelerate progress on the SDGs. Over the past six months, the team led interviews with top figures in the DSSG community from industry, academia, and the public sector. The 14 experts shared numerous insights into using data and data science to advance social good and the SDGs. Four takeaways emerged from our conversations and research:
- Support the hidden work that makes effective data science possible.
- Help partners build their data culture and digital transformation strategies.
- Provide skilled data scientists to work directly with nonprofits.
- Support training for nonprofits to make responsible and ethical decisions based on data.
Read the full article about data science by Nick Martin at Stanford Social Innovation Review.