#D4CA Challenge: UN Global Pulse calls for research proposals to analyze business data to combat #climatechange

Friday, April 7, 2017

One of my colleagues from APHA's International Health Section sent me information about the Data for Climate Action challenge, which I thought I would share in an attempt to wake up this slumbering blog. It's an initiative by the UN's Global Pulse to recruit researchers and data scientists to "leverage private big data to identify revolutionary new approaches to climate mitigation and adaptation" - that is, use corporate datasets, which have been de-identified and made available by participating companies, for projects or analyses that "generate innovative climate solutions." According to the press release:
Data for Climate Action will target three areas relevant to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal on climate action (SDG 13): climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and the linkages between climate change and the broader 2030 Agenda.

The challenge aims to generate original research papers and tools that demonstrate how data-driven innovation can inform on-the-ground solutions and transform efforts to fight climate change. It builds upon the model of data science competitions pioneered by organizations like Kaggle, and company-specific initiatives to share big data for the public good, such as the “Data for Development” challenges hosted by Orange.

Researchers who are selected to participate in Data for Climate Action will have four months to conduct their research. A diverse panel of experts in climate change and data science will evaluate final submissions based on their methodology, relevance, and potential impact. Winners will be announced in November of 2017.
The data being offered includes retail transaction data, social media posts, meteorological and air quality data, and user-generated data on road conditions. Data sets can be combined with each other or with other publicly available datasets like those featured on Data is Plural. Individuals or teams can submit proposals, and the only apparent requirement is that all participants be at least 18 years old.

They've apparently extended the deadline from April 10th to the 17th, so any analysts or programmers who aspire to code for the public good still have ten days to get their applications together and apply.

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