Big Data for Sustainable
Development and
Digital Economy

These three-day workshops are dedicated to policy makers and development practitioners, 
including UN staff, public officials, and civil society representatives; as well as professionals from the private and academic sectors.


Designed for professionals who have a role in defining how data can drive social progress, the workshops challenge participants to engage with data through policy, public services and programs, technology products, and more. We aim to better equip attendees to work with data scientists and other stakeholders to design and execute data-driven interventions towards sustainable development projects, and as private citizens. Over the course of three days, participants, faculty and workshop facilitators work together to understand how to build and contribute to inclusive Big Data innovation projects, policies, partnerships, and innovations in their work and daily lives.

Public Policy Making and Implementation

Traditional Methods of Data Analytics

Exploring recent applications such as mobile technology, crowd sourcing and Big Data.


Placing the data devolution in historical and
political perspectives.


Context & Concepts

1. Decode key terms and buzzwords in the Big Data and development landscape
2. Discuss Big Data within the broader political context of the post-2015 sustainable development framework and data for social good
3. Translate development problems into specific data objectives

Methods & Tools

4. Understand existing methods and tools used to leverage Big Data
5. Assess data representativeness, biases, and insights within Big Data-driven approaches and methods
6. Identify applicable tools by assessing the value add of Big Data for specific development problems

Design & Strategy

7. Identify individual and organizational objectives towards a Big Data strategy
8. Understand how to operationalize Big Data as projects, partnerships, and policies
9. Recognize individual and organizational next steps towards Big Data applications

Ethics & Engagement

10. Identify models for prioritizing inclusivity, transparency and accountability in data public-private-people partnerships
11. Articulate and assess ethical, privacy, and legal implications of Big Data applications
12. Understand key principles for effective data communication and storytelling

Workshop Series

leveraging Big data for sustainable developmenT

With the United Nations Staff College (UNSSC) 

In partnership with UNSSC, this series of courses aims to help practitioners and policy-makers to develop and implement Big Data innovation projects, policies, and partnerships in support of sustainable development objectives. Three editions have been delivered in Cambridge at MIT (June 2016), Bogotá (December 2016) and Nairobi (June 2017). Next editions include Dakar (March 2018), Bangkok (March 2018), Addis Ababa, Istanbul and MIT.

Big Data and the Digital Economy

With the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean(ECLAC) 

In partnership with ECLAC, we offer a series of workshops more squarely focused on Big Data and the Digital Economy in the Latin American and the Caribbean region for UN and governmental staff and civil society members. Five editions have been delivered in: Santiago de Chile (March 2016), São Paulo (September 2017), Mexico City (October 2017), Santo Domingo (April 2019), and Bogotá (May 2019).

Trainings Timeline

  • Bogotá, Colombia

    May 2019

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  • Tunis, Tunisia

    April 2019

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  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

    April 2019

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  • Cambridge, MA (MIT)

    October 2018

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  • Bangkok, Thailand

    March 2018

  • Dakar, Senegal

    March 2018

  • Mexico City, Mexico

    October 2017

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  • São Paulo, Brasil

    September 2017

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  • Nairobi, Kenya

    June 2017

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  • Santiago de chile, chile

    March 2017

  • Bogotá, Colombia

    December 2016

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  • Cambridge, ma

    June 2016