Senegal

17.3

Population 2022 (Millions)

0.51

HDI Score
2021 (Max. 1)

61.8

SDG Score
2023
(Max. 100)

0.53

Gender Inequality
Index Score
(Max. 1)

85

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

Situated at the westernmost point of the continent, Senegal is often referred to as “Gateway to Africa”. Its unique geography includes a mixture of grassland, oceanfront and tropical rainforest, and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. Formerly colonized by the French, Senegal gained independence in 1960, and has since faced separatists fighting in the southern section of the country. In addition to this instability, Senegal faces a number of additional challenges, including high poverty levels, climate change threatening the most significant economic activity (agriculture), corruption, and one of the highest illiteracy rates in Africa (especially pronounced amongst women).

Projects

Development of Senegal’s National Data Strategy

DPA, in collaboration with Smart Africa and GIZ under the leadership of the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, is leading the development of Senegal’s National Data Strategy. The main objective is to identify all the measures and propose an implementation roadmap to (i) enable the digital ecosystem to leverage the potential of data for economic growth; (ii) promote innovation and the use of emerging technologies, with the reinforcement of skills and the development of a data culture; and (iii) foster cross-border collaboration in terms of commerce and data in Africa, all while respecting privacy and human rights.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Identifying Intervention Points to Tackle Disinformation in Senegal and Burkina Faso

The mains goals of this project were to 1) improve the understanding of the anatomy of disinformation campaigns in two West African countries, in order to: 2) identify the most relevant intervention points within the life cycle of disinformation per country and provide actionable recommendations.

Open Algorithms (OPAL) for Public Data and Good

“Open Algorithm (OPAL) for Public Data and Good” seeks to merge different “privacy enhancing techniques” (PETs), such as federated learning, differential privacy, and negative databases, to allow trusted third parties such as researchers or official institutions to analyze censuses or national surveys’ microdata produced by national statistical offices (NSOs), as well as other administrative records, to derive indicators using these data, while avoiding privacy risks. A pilot is expected to be conducted in Mexico, and DPA plans to expand to additional NSOs and other public data holders in the future.

Professional Training Program “Leveraging Big Data for Sustainable Development”

Carried on in partnership with United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC), this series of courses aimed to help practitioners and policy-makers to develop and implement Big Data innovation projects, policies, and partnerships in support of sustainable development objectives. The content was structured into three main modules: contexts and concepts; methods and tools; and strategy and conception / ethics and engagement. The workshops were delivered in Cambridge at MIT (June 2016), Bogotá (December 2016), Nairobi (June 2017), Dakar (March 2018), Bangkok (March 2018), and the MIT Media Lab (October 2018). The same workshop was also conducted in Tunisia (April 2019) with support from UN Tunisie.

Big Data to Address Global Development Challenges (Paper Series)

Four research papers were developed in collaboration with and funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) between 2016 and 2019 under a joint program with Data-Pop Alliance and research partners (Cloud to Street, Flowminder, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, MIT Media Lab) titled “Strengthening the evidence-base for leveraging Big Data to address global development challenges”. This research program and papers were designed with the following objectives and criteria in mind: to focus on various development challenges in different local contexts in order to ensure relevance; to work with trusted partners, so as to ensure academic quality; and to both reflect and promote key determinants of sustainable development, including smoother, fairer and safer access to data and stronger links between analysts, local decision-makers, and communities. Individually, these papers outlined specific cases and examples of how computational analysis of behavioral data (combined with other datasets) can paint a finer-grained, more complex and dynamic picture of human reality than ‘traditional’ data allows. Collectively, they sketched the contours of a world where public decisions, in the form of policies and programs, may someday be designed, implemented, and evaluated using the best available data and approaches.

Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 and the Role of Disaster Risk Governance in the Western Sahel and Lake Chad Basin

In partnership with the UNDP Regional Office and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), DPA and ADE conducted assessments of the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 and the role of disaster risk governance (DRG) in seven countries of the Western Sahel and Lake Chad Basin (Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal). The study analyzed the impacts of the pandemic on macroeconomic health, human development, political governance, peace, and social cohesion, as well as the role of DRG institutions at the regional and national levels. The assessment utilized mixed methods with qualitative and quantitative data collection to produce seven country-level analyses, a regional comparative study, and a policy brief.