The UN Innovation Network (UNIN) is an informal, collaborative community of UN innovators interested in sharing their expertise and experience with others to promote and advance innovation within the UN System. The UNIN is open to innovators from all UN Agencies as well as external partners and to date, representatives from 65+ entities in over 70 countries have joined the Network.
The first Interagency Innovation Bootcamp, hosted by the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Innovation Accelerator, is a week-long high-intensity training programme to spark and catalyse new innovation projects across the UN. Bootcamps provide innovators with the time, space and skills to focus on their project, refine their idea and take it to the next level.
Join UNAIDS for the launch of the Health Innovation Exchange, a platform to showcase innovations with potential to deliver large-scale impact for countries reaching the SDG3 targets, and to connect them to innovative financing solutions.
Farmers in Namibia now have new crop varieties of cowpea and sorghum that are more tolerant to drought and pests planted this year, thanks to nuclear technology provided with the support of the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Traditional seed varieties no longer meet the needs of close to 700,000 agricultural households in northern Namibia, where drought and poor soil inhibit crop productivity
In response, the IAEA and the FAO have supported Namibia through the transfer of technology and helped to build capabilities in plant breeding and soil and water management. The new varieties are expected to benefit over 8,000 farmers in the first season, and more farmers will be able to get involved as the seed production increases, Andowa said.
PAHO’s Health Emergencies Department and UNICEF’s Office of Innovation joined forces to explore the potential of machine learning to predict areas of yellow fever incidence in the Americas and assess the importance of geographic and environmental factors, employing PAHO’s seminal work and unique datasets. Increasing availability of digital data and development of Machine Learning techniques, and Artificial Intelligence in general, has proven extremely useful in understanding patterns of disease and health dynamics in populations. This trend of popular field of research called digital epidemiology uses digital data collected and generated inside and outside the public health system.
Ideas are the lifeblood of innovation. To accelerate rural transformation while tackling rural poverty, food insecurity, nutrition, job creation and climate change, innovative ideas are needed. That is why IFAD in partnership with the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance (the Lab), launched a contest in 2018 to crowdsource ideas and unlock investments into sustainable agriculture in West and Central Africa. Investors and development partners have evaluated the candidates, and this month two winners emerged: Bringing climate risk insurance to smallholder farmers and Promoting climate smart agriculture.
Padma Chaudhary, a mother of two, leaves early in the morning from her home to her e-rickshaw stall almost 20 km away. Decked in a smart, long red coat that matches her bright red chariot on wheels, she marvels at how much her life has changed in the months since she acquired the vehicle, which has allowed her to work independently. An e-rickshaw is a battery-operated three-wheeler that is a greener alternative to rickshaws that run on fuel. “I never expected there to be initiatives willing to support rural women like us,” says Chaudhary, as she talks about the e-rickshaw she received from Pourakhi Nepal, UN Women’s implementing partner, some seven months ago.
A looming El Niño event could make 2019 the hottest year ever recorded, and this is concerning news for countries in Southeast Asia. The mega-fires caused by the severe 2015 El Niño ravaged more than 26,000 kilometers of land, causing a massive haze crisis that resulted in more than 100,000 premature deaths in the region. UN Global Pulse is now exploring some of the latest advances in artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to help authorities and citizens make timely, informed decisions in environmentally critical moments.
The scientific community has concluded that we have about a decade left to fundamentally change the way we consume natural resources and protect the environment. We believe that if we create a digital ecosystem for the environment, we will be able to use data and insights to make better natural resource governance decisions, target our investments and change consumption and production patterns.
AI has taken the world by storm, becoming a marketing buzzword and hotly commented subject. But it’s certainly not all hype. Over the last few years there have been several important milestones in AI, in particular in terms of image, pattern and speech recognition, language comprehension and autonomous vehicles. Advancements such as these have prompted the healthcare, automotive, financial, communications and many more industries to adopt AI in pursuit of its transformative potential. But what about the law enforcement community? How can AI benefit law enforcement and why might this be dangerous?
Does international peacekeeping protect civilians caught up in civil wars? Do the 16,000 United Nations peacekeepers deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo actually save lives, and if so how many? Did the 9,000 patrols conducted by the U.N. Mission in South Sudan in the past three months protect civilians there? The answer is a dissatisfying “maybe.”
But peacekeeping can—and must—make a case for its own utility, using data already at its fingertips.
Getting nutrition data from the Republic of Congo’s remote health centers is a notorious headache. Health workers fill out log books by hand on a day-to-day basis. Once a month, they compile a report that is sent to a district officer, by whatever means of transportation is available. The district officer compiles the data for a district before passing on a summary to a departmental head at the Ministry in the capital, Brazzaville. The lag time typically amounts to five weeks — or more. By the time the information is analyzed and shared, it is stale.
A team of enterprising people from WFP and CAI are now working to change this.
When droughts occur, herders can cover several hundred to thousands of kilometres before finding an adequate water spot with enough water and vegetation to meet the needs of the many herds gathering there. To decide where to go, pastoralists typically pay an emissary to check out the area they have in mind as their next destination, and report back. It takes at best a few days to get the information by motorbike, weeks if the journey is undertaken by camel. It is costly, slow and risky. But with satellite imagery, information on water and vegetation cover is available in real time, with enormous benefits for the herders, saving them time, money and, potentially, their livestock.
Set up the proposed funding framework to facilitate institutional investment in SMEs for circular transformations.