UNDP’s Chief Digital Office is excited to announce the ten teams that make up the new cohort of the UNDP Digital X Scale Accelerator. Generously supported by the Government of Japan, Digital X creates the opportunity for successful UNDP country-level solutions to scale in terms of both impact and geographic reach.
These ten projects, selected from 180 applications, will receive funding, five months of organisational support and technical expertise to unblock traditional challenges to scale. By leveraging cutting edge digital technology, the goal for Digital X projects is to exponentially increase their impact – and create momentum toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Here are the selected projects:
Sudan: Using AI to identify trends in hate speech
Working with local organisations, UNDP’s Sudan country office will localise Meekin, an award-winning platform developed by the social enterprise Koe Koe Tech. The platform helps identify trends in social media around hate speech, and/or risk factors and early warning signs for extremism. The project will build on the platform’s success in Myanmar, where the pilot project flagged 80,000 Facebook posts and comments.
Dominican Republic: Expanding digital healthcare services platform
eHospital facilitates medical care for vulnerable people in the Dominican Republic through tele-consultations with doctors. Via an online platform, patients are screened by eHospital’s AI doctor, who either answers patients' questions, refers them to a specialist, or directs them to call for emergency response. Patients are also able to see a live doctor through a digital consultation.
Africa region and SIDS: Implementing geospatial data collaboration space for renewable energy electrification
This project will create an advocacy and partnership matchmaking platform to accelerate access to energy to the one billion people globally who still do not have access to electricity. The collaboration space will gather together stakeholders including non-traditional finance actors, social impact investors, carbon credit markets, crowd funders and more to support a wide variety of energy interventions.
Bangladesh: Leveraging artificial intelligence to reach the most vulnerable
In Togo, a coalition of organisations – including UC Berkeley’s Centre for Effective Global Action, the nonprofit GiveDirectly, and the government of Togo – have enacted a system to identify those most in need using cell phone and satellite metadata. With the help of Digital X, the program will scale to Bangladesh, where the COVID-19 pandemic has doubled the poverty rate. The goal is to identify 10,000 beneficiaries in the pilot, and millions upon successful scale-up.
Somalia: Implementing a skills-building and job training platform
The UNDP Somalia country office, with the support of Digital X, will build a platform to map private sector demand and talent pipeline in real time. The program is intended to address a staggering 67% youth unemployment rate. The platform will be built on the successful NISE2 platform in Bangladesh, and will comprise a job aggregator and dashboard, as well as a community space to train job seekers, employers, academics, and policy makers.
Uganda: Partnership with Jumia platform to enable informal vendors to sell online
The UNDP Uganda Country Office will scale up an existing partnership with Jumia – Africa’s leading e-commerce platform – to help informal market vendors access new customers online while sustaining supply chains. During Digital X, the project seeks to replicate the success in Kampala to two more cities and formalise learnings from these pilots to gear up for future growth both nationally and regionally.
India: Scale the Ajeevika app to provide women with information about government services
In India, the UNDP Country Office will scale up the functionalities of the Ajeevika app, first launched in the state of Uttarakhand to provide women in rural areas better access to information about government services. In the new phase, services will be expanded to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Ajeevika will slow the spread of the virus by reducing in-person contact at government offices. A further expansion will create an online marketplace for informal vendors, allowing people to continue their business with less risk.
Kyrgyzstan: Scale the BalaTech e-learning app to reach students of various abilities
Through Digital X, UNDP’s Accelerator Lab in Kyrgyzstan will scale BalaTech, a promising digital skills learning platform. BalaTech gamifies digital skills training for children with an average age of 14, with the goal of decreasing the digital divide between students in Kyrgyzstan. So far, the app has reached 15,000 school-age children in five countries. Seventy-eight percent of users in Kyrgyzstan were from rural areas, with limited access to formal education.
Libya: Developing the Telemedicine Libya initiative to expand rural healthcare
To ameliorate the effects of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, UNDP Libya will develop Telemedicine Libya in collaboration with the start-up Speetar. This public-private partnership will extend the reach of Libya’s healthcare system to the most vulnerable populations. With the help of Digital X, the team will allow Telemedicine Libya to provide vulnerable people, migrants, and people living in hard-to-reach rural areas with high-quality remote healthcare services.
Azerbaijan: Expanding the Turn Digital! platform to enable SMEs to reach customers online
Turn Digital! is an initiative by the government of Azerbaijan to help ease the effects of COVID-19 on SMEs. Via Turn Digital!, consumers and SMEs can transact online. Consumers can access online education, health, entertainment, food, telecommunications, and more. For SMEs, the platform offers access to consumers, as well as support in digitalising their businesses.