Data for Good Exchange 2019 Preview: Prosperity & Peace Track

Data for Good Exchange 2019's "Prosperity & Peace" track looks at the use of data science to tackle Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to economic, social and technological progress.
Photo Credit: Farhan Azam - Unsplash

The Data for Good Exchange 2019 conference will take place on Sunday, September 15, 2019, at Bloomberg’s Global Headquarters in New York City. This year, the conference theme is “Data Science for the SDGs” or how data scientists, corporations, policymakers, and researchers can collaborate on data science projects that will move us toward achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. These 17 goals are structured around the five pillars of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – People, Peace, Prosperity, Planet and Partnership – which were adopted by all UN Member States at the historic UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.

In this second of 4 articles previewing this year’s conference, we take a look at the panels, workshops and presentations in the conference’s Prosperity & Peace Track. The conference sessions in this track tackle some or all of the following SDGs:


We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.

10-10:45 AM
Panel #1: How Data Can Help Build Cities That Work for All Residents

Today, more than 14 million Americans live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty – where more than 40 percent of their neighbors are poor. In some areas of the country, life expectancy in neighborhoods only five miles apart can differ by as much as 20 years. To better bridge the income and opportunity gap, we need to address the information gap. Those community leaders who most desperately need data insights to attract and inform investment and development decisions are the ones least likely to have access to the tools they need.

This panel will look at ways to help community leaders move from intuition-based decisions to insights-led ones in order to drive inclusive growth across the country. Panelists from What Works Cities, the University of New Orleans’ Department of Planning and Urban Studies (PLUS), and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth will cover real case studies of new tools that have been built and are being deployed by local leaders to help them maximize the new opportunity zones incentive. They will also take a closer look at how cities can better understand the future of their workforce to better upskill for the jobs that will sustain growth.

11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Data for Good Exchange Immersion Fellows’
Presentation – City of Bogotá, Colombia


We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.

12:15-1:00 PM
Workshop #1: Harnessing Data Science for the SDGs: Challenges and Opportunities for Administrative Data Use

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on us to “leave no one behind.” To achieve this goal and support countries’ own development priorities, governments and development practitioners must be equipped with the right data, tools, and skills to make evidence-based decisions. Governments require strong foundations and rich administrative datasets to measure progress. However, the use of administrative data to inform strategy and policy decisions has not achieved its potential, as these data systems are historically under-funded, under-utilized, not fit-for-purpose, and not shared across initiatives.

Led by Development Gateway, this hands-on workshop will make the case for investments in administrative data to drive progress towards the SDGs. Participants will identify barriers to using scientific methods within administrative data systems – from data quality to capacity concerns. Participants will leave the session with (1) a strong understanding of the importance of administrative data — down to the local level — to achieve the SDGs, and (2) practical strategies to unlock the power of data science in administrative systems.

2:00-2:45 PM
Panel #2: Measuring SDG 16 in Crisis Contexts – How can we measure progress on rule of law, human rights and security in complex emergencies?

This panel discussion, which will include United Nations, government, academia and civil society representatives, will highlight experiences from the Central African Republic (CAR), Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Federal Government of Somalia, on measuring progress on rule of law and access to justice and security as part of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 – what has been achieved so far, and key challenges that require creative thinking and innovative partnerships.

3:00-4:00 PM
Paper Presentations

  • Mitigating geographic bias of image classifiers with multilingual image data (presented by Yoni Nachmany, Nikhil Krishnan and Aditya Kashyap)
  • Data transparency as the key driver for financial inclusion for smallholder farmers (presented by Larissa Sidarto and Magisha Thohir)
  • Localizing sustainable development goals in Kumasi, Ghana using Africa regional data cube (presented by Kenneth Mubea, Brian Killough, Omar Seidu, Edward Boamah and Stella Ofori-Ampofo)
  • The disaster-related dictionaries in multiple Asian languages by crowdsourced translations (presented by Annissa Zahara, Yulistina Riyadi and Imaduddin Amin)
  • Data analytics platform for logistics planning and information management following natural disasters (presented by Faizal Thamrin, Muhammad Rheza Muztahid, Annissa Zahara, Dwayne Carruthers, Dikara Alkarisya and Angga Gumilar)

4:05 PM-4:50 PM
Workshop #2: Hands-on Mini Grid and Grid Extension Electrification Planning Using Algorithms from Satellite Images to Phased Rollout

The single most important quality of an electrification plan is keeping it up-to-date. Led by CrossCompute, this hands-on workshop walk through the process of creating a regional electrification plan using algorithms. Its goal is to inspire participants to improve upon their work and create the next generation of electrification planning algorithms.