Twitter and UN Global Pulse Announce Data Partnership

By Colin Crowell
Tuesday, 27 September 2016

This week, Twitter and UN Global Pulse announced a partnership that will provide the United Nations with access to Twitter’s data tools to support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by world leaders last year.

Every day, people around the world send hundreds of millions of Tweets in dozens of languages. This public data contains real-time information on many issues including the cost of food, availability of jobs, access to health care, quality of education, and reports of natural disasters. This partnership will allow the development and humanitarian agencies of the UN to turn these social conversations into actionable information to aid communities around the globe.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are first and foremost about people, and Twitter’s unique data stream can help us truly take a real-time pulse on priorities and concerns — particularly in regions where social media use is common — to strengthen decision-making. Strong public-private partnerships like this show the vast potential of big data to serve the public good,” said Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of UN Global Pulse.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with the UN in support of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Chris Moody, Twitter’s VP of Data Strategy. “Twitter data provides a live window into the public conversations that communities around the world are having, and we believe that the increased potential for research and innovation through this partnership will further the UN’s efforts to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Organizations and businesses around the world currently use Twitter data in many meaningful ways, and this unique data source enables them to leverage public information at scale to better inform their policies and decisions. These partnerships enable innovative uses of Twitter data, while protecting the privacy and safety of Twitter users.

UN Global Pulse’s new collaboration with Twitter builds on existing R&D that has shown the power of social media for social impact, like measuring the impact of public health campaigns, tracking reports of rising food prices, or prioritizing needs after natural disasters.

About UN Global Pulse:

Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of the UN Secretary-General, harnessing data science and analytics for sustainable development and humanitarian action. (www.unglobalpulse.org)