United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Description of Activities on AI

Project 1: AI-enabled COVID-19 Impact Assessments

UNDP’s China Country Office published a report to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on POEs and SMEs and their ability to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All findings are based on nearly real-time evidence, constituting a meta-analysis of over 78,000 SMEs and large POEs. The AI Lab at WeBank conducted analysis on the economic recovery of SMEs utilizing satellite imagery, GPS data, social media analysis, and their AI platform. UNDP China worked closely with the lab to integrate the WeBank analysis in UNDP’s assessments and into UNDP’s report.

Project 2: AI-powered robots for children

ImpactAim (AIM) is an independent platform created in 2017 and run by UNDP Armenia, which brings together the government, the private sector and development agencies to develop innovative tech startups that target the advancement of specific sectors (e.g., agriculture, climate, govtech, etc.) and have a financially sustainable and scalable business model.

The AIM community, with a pipeline of 25 innovative impact ventures and 5 Internationally renowned technology partners, is now in the intensive process of creation and redefining of business and impact models to best support and mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19. One such solution is Robin, an AI-powered robot which interacts with hospitalized children. These interactions help children overcome stress and anxiety: pilots with over 100 children show a self-reported increase in joyfulness of more than 26% and a more than 34% reduction in stress.

Robin is 47 inches tall and made of recyclable bioplastic which can easily be sterilized with ultraviolet light or other disinfectants to minimize the risk of spreading viruses.

Project 3: AI analysis to identify gaps in judicial process

UNDP Brazil has supported the application of artificial intelligence to enlarging access to justice in Brazil. In partnership with the National Council of Justice (CNJ), it was developed an AI solution to analyze data of courts from all the country to identify causes of gaps in judicial process and contribute to improve efficiency and resources allocation planning of the Brazilian Justice. During the project implementation, the CNJ IT staff was also trained to keep on developing/applying AI related solutions, also representing a capacity development gain for the Council.

Project 4: Integrated Digital Assessments

Due to the need for comprehensive and timely information for evidence-based decision-making to support for better situational awareness at the times of crisis, UNDP has rolled out two digital assessment tools with global outreach and local implementation, carried out with a governmental counterpart as a partner in the process:

  • The Household and Building Damage Assessment Tool (HBDA), which supports countries’ authorities to assess disaster damage on residential and non-residential infrastructure, as well as the impacts on households;
  • The Digital Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Tool (Digital SEIA), which targets mainly vulnerable households and micro, small and medium enterprises affected by COVID-19.

These toolkits are used for the design and implementation of rapid—multi-topical and integrated—assessments; integrating the innovative secondary data sources (Social media data, Satellite imagery, National statistical data..); and the use of digital data collection and visualization tools. Currently these toolkit have been rolled out in 60+ Countries supporting various population (from Indigenous communities to informal settlements populations, through the informal economies to smallholder agriculture) and partnering with stakeholders across the spectrum (from Local NGOs, other UN agencies to Private entities). Through their various cutting-edge digital instruments, these Integrated Digital Assessments provide the much-needed decision support base for impactful policymaking.

Related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)