UN General Assembly, Social Good Summit Highlight Tech-Driven Development

UN Global Goals

Alyssa Heinze is a Marketing & Communications Intern at Vera Solutions. A junior at Dartmouth College, Alyssa studies Government and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Prior to her work at Vera, she studied abroad at Hyderabad Central University and interned for a women’s empowerment NGO in Kathmandu, Nepal.

This year’s Social Good Summit focused on the pivotal role technology can play in reaching the SDGs, ranging from conversations around the integration of tech and global health to women’s empowerment and access to education. SGS participants demonstrated that everyone — from celebrities and world leaders to you and me — can play a role in reaching the SDGs; the ability to create change is not reserved only for those with a media megaphone. Thanks to new technology, the ability to contribute to social movements has become as easy as using a mobile app like SDGs in Action — an app that features information on the SDGs, in addition to ways in which individuals can take action to achieve them — or the UN World Food Programme’s ShareTheMeal, the world’s first app working to eliminate global hunger.

Bridging the gap between “what is” and “what’s possible”

While the sector has come a long way, there’s more work to be done to ensure that technology solutions geared toward the development community are both robust and accessible. This issue is of critical importance to Vera as we consider how best to use data and technology to bridge the gap between “what is” and “what’s possible” in global development — one data system at a time. To that end, we partner with social sector organizations to amplify their impact, helping them to leverage data to inform their approaches to sustainable development and social innovation. For example, many of our clients now use the Salesforce platform to better manage their data, enabling organizations like Hope on a String, Lwala Community Alliance, and Pollinate to tackle aspects of the SDGs head-on:

  • At Hope on a String, program managers can now easily monitor the enrollment, attendance, and retention of students in their community-based performing arts programs in Arcahaie, Haiti.
  • Lwala Community Alliance uses Salesforce to track their community health programs in western Kenya.
  • Pollinate’s Salesforce system allows them to monitor their supply chain, including tracking daily sales of their clean energy products and customer payments, and measure their impact in India.

The examples above illustrate just a few of the ways in which Vera is working toward a more data-driven development sector — a sector that, with improved access to its own data, will be better equipped to tackle the SDGs by 2030.

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