What is Data Good for? Bringing Data Strategy to Life at USA for UNHCR

Abstract: In October 2015, Hungary closed its borders to refugees, a decision that alerted the world to the growing refugee crisis. USA for UNHCR helps save, protect, and rebuild the lives of refugees. The Hive, the innovation lab within USA for UNHCR, works hand-in-hand with partners around the globe in search of creative ways to support the organization’s work. In this talk, I cover the journey of The Hive as it unveils opportunities for transformative data-driven initiatives in response to the growing refugee crisis.

Data, data science, and machine learning can drive tangible value across a wide range of organizations, from for-profit to government and nonprofit. Data has been foundational in driving innovation across the organization’s strategic initiatives. I cover the development and implementation of a DS/ML strategy for The Hive. From identifying use cases and defining success metrics, I showcase how to thoughtfully introduce and grow novel capabilities within an organization as established as USA for UNHCR. Examples of these include 1. Using the power of data visualization to shed a new light on the refugee story and illuminate complex issues in a unique way 2. Using data hackathons in collaboration with for-profit organizations to enhance partnership-building and awareness of the cause 3. Using satellite imagery to improve site planning and de-congestion efforts and 4. Using predictive models to achieve fundraising targets and reach new audiences.

Finally, I share how we built a network of trusted partners, advisors, and volunteers to engage in exciting projects given resource constraints common in a government or non-profit organization.

Bio: Coming soon!