By Ana M. Grijalva, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Ecuador,
Paulina Jiménez, Head of Solution Mapping, UNDP Accelerator Lab Ecuador
with Basma Albanna, Doctoral Researcher, University of Manchester, and Jeremy Boy, Network Data Visualization Engineer, UNDP Accelerator Labs.

No Forest, No Life: The Importance of Deforestation

A picture of the Amazon Forest. ©Unsplash Fotos

Deforestation is an alarming problem for the Amazon region. In Ecuador alone, the rainforest recedes by hundreds of hectars every year. This is almost exclusively due to agricultural activities — 99% overall, and 64% due specifically to pastureland (PROAmazonia, 2019). Put simply, much of the land originally covered by forest is now being…


By Alejandra Cervantes, Technical Advisor Agenda 2030, GIZ Mexico,
Gabriela Ríos, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Mexico
and Itzel Soto, Data Analyst, Codeando México

Mexico City. Photo: Traveler, 2016.

In every community, there are individuals or groups with uncommon behaviors who, while having access to similar resources, find better solutions to challenges than their peers. Finding these so-called positive deviants and promoting their solutions is referred to as the Positive Deviance approach. Building on this, the Data Powered Positive Deviance (DPPD) initiative combines traditional and non-traditional data to identify and understand positive deviance in new ways. As part of this initiative, the GIZ Data…


By Andreas Gluecker, Project Manager, GIZ Data Lab,
with Erik Lehmann, Data Scientist,
GIZ Data Lab,
and Esther Barvels, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist, GIZ.

Are farmers of this plot particularly successful in growing rainfed crops?
© PromAP / Eco-consult: Hama Bouka.

In every community, there are individuals or groups with uncommon behaviors who, while having access to similar resources, find better solutions to challenges than their peers. Finding these so-called positive deviants and promoting their solutions is referred to as the Positive Deviance approach. Building on this, the Data Powered Positive Deviance (DPPD) initiative combines traditional and non-traditional data to identify and understand positive deviance in new ways. Contributing to this initiative, the GIZ Data Lab


By Hodan Abdullahi, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Somalia,
with Basma Albanna, Doctoral Researcher,
University of Manchester,
and Esther Barvels, GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist,
GIZ.

The Data Powered Positive Deviance method acts as a kaleidoscope, refracting, combining, and reflecting different perspectives and angles to identify and understand positively deviant communities — Photo by Lyle on Flicker

In every community, there are individuals or groups with uncommon behaviors who, while having access to similar resources, find better solutions to challenges than their peers. Finding these so-called positive deviants and promoting their solutions is referred to as the Positive Deviance approach. Building on this, the Data Powered Positive Deviance (DPPD) initiative combines traditional and non-traditional data to identify and understand positive deviance in new ways. As part of this initiative, the…


By Jeremy Boy, Data Scientist, UNDP Accelerator Labs together with Andreas Gluecker, Project Manager, GIZ Data Lab.

The following piece was originally published by the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network on August, 21, 2020. For more details on the project background, please read our first blog on this series “Launching the Data Powered Positive Deviance Initiative”.

Satellite image of land cover classification in Joya de los Sachas in Ecuador (2020)

At the beginning of 2020, the UNDP Accelerator Labs Network kicked-off a set of exciting pilots with the GIZ Data Lab of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to explore the potential of Data Powered Positive Deviance (DPPD) for sustainable development.

Together with the UNDP Accelerator Labs and GIZ projects in Ecuador, Mexico, Niger, and Somalia/ Somaliland, we are using combinations…


This piece is a preliminary technical report of an on-going pilot on applying Data Powered Positive Deviance in response to the Covid-19 crisis in Germany. We would be happy to receive your feedback and further ideas on our analysis.

Author: Iskriyana Vasileva, Business Intelligence Analyst and aspiring Data Scientist, with valuable contributions by Joshua Driesen & Niklas Wulkow.

*positividade = positivity in Portuguese. A Brazilian friend taught me the word and its strength and sincerity stuck with me. As the following story is about finding positive outliers, it only seemed right to use it as a reflection of both the project’s goal and my experience.

Introduction

This blog post covers the prototype initiated by our team in collaboration with GIZ Data Lab during the German #WirVsVirus hackathon, which took place between the 20th and 22nd of March 2020.

Please note that we are discussing a prototype developed in…


Written by: Pulse Lab Jakarta

The following piece was written by our partners from Pulse Lab Jakarta and was originally published on June 22, 2020.

Authors: Basma Albanna, Data Science Fellow, Pulse Lab Jakarta — Doctoral Researcher, University of Manchester; Dharani Dhar Burra, Data Scientist, Pulse Lab Jakarta; and Michael J. Dyer, Geospatial Information Systems Officer, Pulse Lab Jakarta.

Approaches to data collection for development programming have commonly relied on official statistical data in combination with surveys to plan, implement and monitor progress and impact for interventions. Today, the emergence of big data has resulted in a paradigm shift, with…


By Monique Sternin, co-Founder of the Positive Deviance Approach and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Tufts University,
Cole Zanetti,
DO, MPH, Positive Deviance Facilitator, Director of Digital Health at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine,
Lars Thuesen,
Positive Deviance Facilitator, Founder and Change Leader, WIN, the Welfare Improvement Network

The partnership of big data and Positive Deviance (PD) seems like a set up for an unusual first date. On one hand you have big data, looked at as an ambient collection of the digital behaviors of people. On the other hand, you have Positive Deviance, which is traditionally a people intensive…


By Richard Heeks and Basma Albanna, Centre for Digital Development, University of Manchester

Nations around the world are struggling with their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, they seek guidance on what works best in terms of preventive measures, treatments, and public health, economic and other policies. Can we use the novel approach of data-powered positive deviance to improve the guidance being offered?

Positive Deviance and Covid-19

Positive deviants are those in a population that significantly outperform their peers. While the terminology of positive deviance is absent from public discourse on Covid-19, the concept is implicitly present at least…


Written by: GIZ Data Lab [External Blog]

The following piece was written by our partners from GIZ Data Lab and was originally published on April 14, 2020. It highlights first results of applying DPPD in a Hackathon to the Covid-19 spread in Germany. The preliminary model presented below is currently being refined, additional data added and opportunities for application explored. Stay tuned!

Doing our part: a community-based response to a global challenge

Within a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed lives around the globe, disrupting the social, economic, and political landscape. In-person social interactions are constrained while large…

Data Powered Positive Deviance DPPD

We are an international collective that is dedicated to utilizing big data to find effective locally developed solutions to complex problems.

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