Harnessing big data for social good

Robert Kirkpatrick shares his thoughts on the opportunities and threats posed by real-time data for the global development community

Robert Kirkpatrick, director of UN Global Pulse

When thinking of engagement with the private sector, the global development community has tended principally to concentrate on volunteer time and donated goods and services, as the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has highlighted. But there is much more we can learn from the private sector about reducing vulnerability and using real-time insights to boost resilience, mitigate risk and respond to changing global circumstances with greater agility.

Last year, the UN agreed on 17 ...