Maldives

0.5

Population 2022 (Millions)

0.75

HDI Score
2021 (Max. 1)

71.3

SDG Score
2023
(Max. 100)

0.35

Gender Inequality
Index Score
(Max. 1)

N/A

Internet Inclusivity
Index 2022
(100 countries)

Sources: 1. World Bank (2022), 2, UNDP (2021), 3. Sustainable Development Report (2023), 4. UNDP (2021), 5. Economist Impact (2022)

Overview

Located in the north-central Indian Ocean, the Maldives is made of up around 1,200 small islands, with only about 200 being inhabited. The stunning natural beauty of the islands has made the Maldives a world-renowned tourist destination, which has helped the country move from one of the poorest in the world in the 1980s to middle-income status today. It is sometimes referred to as a development “success story” for this reason. However, the country still faces challenges, most notably from the very geography that has made it such a desired destination. With all of the islands at or barely above sea level, the threat from rising seas due to climate change is extremely high. Additionally, the country faces issues with political instability and difficulty providing services to the resident population.

Projects

Human Mobility and Population Density in the Maldives

This project, supported by UNFPA Maldives and the National Bureau of Statistics, aimed to use Big Data to shed light on demographic features that have a wide range of implications for development policies and programs. Specifically, our partners at Fundazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) developed a prototype  to analyze population density and movement patterns that leveraged call detail records (CDRs) and new data analytic techniques by utilizing the temporal dynamics derived from mobile data, while preserving the anonymity of mobile users.

Leveraging Big Data Sources to Map Demographic Impacts of COVID-19 in Maldives

In partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Maldives and working closely with the National Bureau of Statistics of Maldives, this project sought to leverage Big Data sources, such as the mobile phone records (CDRs) and official statistics (household surveys) to provide data and study the effects of COVID-19 mobility restrictions on the population dynamics and mobility in the country. The study also analyzed the intricate relationships between attitudes, actual behavior and socioeconomic background in the Maldives by combining NBS survey data with movement patterns in a privacy-preserving manner. One of the main objectives of the project was to set a new benchmark for innovative application of mobile phone analytics in the region and beyond as a way to address population needs and monitor the impacts of shocks and stressors. The outputs of this projects included an analysis and policy paper with recommendations synthesizing key insights on the population dynamics obtained through CDR analysis and outlining applications towards advancement of 5 SDGs; and a capacity building toolkit and ‘how-to” guide for using innovative data analytics methodologies, collection and analysis of alternative sources of data.