All in UNDG

Mining alternative data: What national health insurance data reveals about diabetes in the Maldives

All Maldivian nationals are covered under the Government’s universal health insurance plan called “Aasandha”. Aasandha data provides personal data records and insurance data for all Maldivians. Since the usual data source for non-communicable diseases is the Demographic and Health Surveys, which is carried out every 6 years (most recently in 2015 and before that in 2009), we thought we could get more up-to-date data on diabetes if we looked directly at the health insurance data.

Our team assumed that analyzing this data would serve as proxy indicators for the SDG indicators 3.8.1: Coverage of essential health services. Our idea was to have an anonymized look at the data from the universal health insurance plan to see what else we could learn about non-communicable diseases.

Innovation scaling: It’s not replication. It’s seeing in 3D

In the social sector, the scaling question makes us nervous because the image of scaling is often a one dimensional, industrial one: let’s replicate the use of this technology, tool or method in a different place and that means we’ve scaled. This gives us social development people pause not only because we can’t ever fully replicate [anything] across multiple moving elements across economic, social and culture. Even if we could replicate, it would dooms us to measuring scaling by counting the repeated application of one innovation in many places.

Thankfully, people like Gord Tulloch have given us a thoughtful scaling seriesthat questions the idea that scaling social innovation is about replicating single big ideas many times over.

So if scaling ≠ only replication, how do we strategize for scale? I’ve got a proposal: what if we frame the innovation scaling question more about doing deep than broad? The scaling question becomes: How will we move from distinct prototypes managed by different teams at the frontier of our work to a coherent, connected use of emergent experiments in programme operations?

Creating an impact investment culture in Armenia: Our way of doing it

According to some estimates, implementing the SDGs will cost a whopping 172.5 USD trillion by 2030, while current aid flows to developing countries sit at 350 USD billion annually. (…) We believe that this gap can be partly filled by something called impact investing. This is, in short, investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social or environmental impact alongside a financial return.

At the UN in Armenia, we are testing impact investing and other new funding mechanisms to explore how they can be best used in middle-income countries to generate financing for the SDGs. Our UN team, led by UNDP Armenia, is experimenting around a set of initiatives that are already turning to be great learning experiences that we are proud to share in this blog.

Powering up data collection systems in Palestine

In 2016 we prepared a Common Country Analysis (CCA) for Palestine. A CCA is UN speak for a detailed analysis of a country in preparation for a multi-year action plan of the UN. It identifies key development challenges and where the UN needs to focus its development investments.

For our analysis this time, we decided to look at people and we asked ourselves two questions:

- Who are the most vulnerable groups in Palestine?

- What are the structural drivers of their vulnerability?