IICPSD – UNDP Tajikistan Hosted Training on the Digital Social Vulnerability Index (DSVI)

August 1, 2022

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, July 7, 2022 – UNDP IICPSD SDG AI Lab hosted two trainings on the Digital Social Vulnerability Index (DSVI) under its partnership with UNDP Tajikistan. The trainings brought together over sixty researchers and government officials working on technologies and their use for sustainable development from Agency of Statistics, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment, National Academy of Science, national universities, NGOs, and others.

Tajikistan has embedded the use of digital technologies in achieving long-term development goals, and the country is adopting "National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence". Considering digitalization as one of the national priorities, UNDP Tajikistan has established a longstanding vision to support the country in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the enhancement of digitalization process. The approach outlines the steps to support the adoption of new methods and technologies for digital transformation.

In this context, SDG AI Lab and UNDP Tajikistan have joined forces to pilot the implementation of DSVI for social vulnerability calculation and visualization in the country. DSVI was developed by SDG AI Lab through enhancing UNDP Social Vulnerability Index methodology with a digitalized approach. To do so the Lab used Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. The developed DSVI prototype presents the results with an interactive high-resolution map of a vulnerability metric to selected hazards.

In June 2022 the partners hosted technical training targeting practitioners and researchers from Tajikistan AI Labs and universities. This training included a general introduction to social vulnerability concept and a deep dive coding session. Moreover, the participants learned how to calculate social vulnerability with examining the data processing techniques and statistical processes. Further, the training followed the session on the use of machine learning for the prediction of social vulnerability. By the end of the training, the participants learned on how to use the DSVI and the underlying techniques.

“The training programme was remarkably interesting, and yet challenging. Thanks to the instructor’s efforts, we went through the detailed explanation of the concept and methodology. I hope there will be more opportunities to work with DSVI tool, and further explore its possibilities.”
Ms. Farida Muminova, Senior Researcher – Candidate of Economic Sciences, Institute of Economics and Demography of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan

Following the technical training, on July 7, SDG AI Lab and UNDP Tajikistan hosted a general training for development stakeholders and government officials. The training focused on the use of DSVI in development context and policy making. The training also showcased the tool and its functionalities as well as discussed, its benefits and limitations. Both trainings were concluded with Q&A sessions, allowing participants to address any questions and provide their feedback on the methodology and tool.

Ms. Zebo Jalilova, UNDP Tajikistan Team Leader on Sustainable Economic Development Cluster, stated “This training has strengthened participants understanding on Social Vulnerability, and its importance for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) achievement. We hope that our partnership with UNDP IICPSD on DSVI will help to analyze Tajikistan’s progress towards the SDGs and enhance Social Vulnerability related research and projects.”

Mr. Gökhan Dikmener, IICPSD Technical Specialist, thanked UNDP Tajikistan for their dedication to innovations and kind support to the pilot, and concluded, “The collaboration with UNDP Tajikistan is an important step to expand the use of DSVI at global level”.

Lastly, DSVI has proven the importance of the frontier technologies for sustainable development. The tool provides advanced and accurate cost-efficient approach for social vulnerability analysis and visualization. In line with UNDP Digital Strategy, SDG AI Lab will continue to enhance the DSVI and scale up its use at international level.