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The Open Algorithms project (OPAL) is led by the DataPop Alliance with partners Orange, World Economic Forum, Agence France du Developpement, PARIS21, and SDSN. OPAL demonstrates a pathway to harness private data for the public good while maintaining the datasets’ privacy, security, and proprietary value. By developing a mechanism for querying telecommunications data behind the company’s firewall, using publicly accessible and open algorithms, OPAL’s potential for success comes from “taking the code to the data, not the data to the code.” This technology has broad implications not only for the telecom sector, but for many private corporations who actively or passively collect data that would be of high use to the public sector if available in a ready and reliable fashion.

Two pilots of the OPAL project are underway in Senegal and Colombia. SDSN has supported the development of a methodology for participatory governance design, first in Senegal in January 2017, and then in Colombia in June 2017. SDSN’s support enabled the OPAL group to foster critical partnerships in various sectors in both regions, to perform a user needs study with key stakeholders in Senegal and Colombia, and to design and implement a workshop discussing user needs and governance in Dakar and Bogotà. Each governance workshop aimed to bring together stakeholders from across the private and public sectors — particularly the mobile phone providers Sonatel and Telefonica.

Participatory Governance Methodology

Other Solutions Initiatives

  • Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project

    The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) is an SDSN Solution Initiative co-founded with the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) to prepare national low-emission development pathways to 2050, consistent with limiting the rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C, as agreed in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

  • Agricultural Transformation Pathways initiative

    This SDSN Solution Initiative aims to provide support to countries in choosing realistic targets that are congruent with the new SDGs and developing technology and socio-economic roadmaps for meeting selected targets.

  • USA Sustainable Cities Initiative (USA-SCI)

    Building on ongoing municipal sustainable development planning efforts, the USA Sustainable Cities Initiative (USA-SCI) is supporting SDG achievement strategies in three pilot US cities: New York (New York), Baltimore (Maryland), and San Jose (California).

  • Reconciling Development Data

    The process of data reconciliation, which stitches together multiple related datasets, can increase the efficiency and achieve a level of specificity hitherto unavailable to most statistics offices.

  • Rio Sustainable Cities Initiative: SDG Implementation in a Metropolitan Context

    The Rio Sustainable Cities Initiative recognizes that comprehensive sustainable urban development necessitates local and national cooperation. Holistic planning cannot be confined to local boundaries. This is particularly important as cities strive to achieve the urban sustainable development goal (SDG 11), to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

  • The World in 2050

    The World in 2050 (TWI2050) is a global research initiative in support of a successful implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda. The goal of TWI2050 is to provide the fact-based knowledge to support the policy process and implementation of the SDGs.

  • SDG Local Data Action

    The SDG Local Data Action Solutions Initiative (SI) is a crossover project between the USA-Sustainable Cities Initiative (USA-SCI) and the Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS).Upon the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by 193 countries in September 2015, a clear consensus emerged that data would play a key role in measuring- and achieving – […]

  • Virtual Open Schools

    The Virtual Open School project aims to identify and test a model for large-scale, online provision of quality secondary level education in rural areas in an economically sustainable way.