Singapore Global Centre

Data-Driven Innovations for Small Island Developing States

Spanning the globe, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a group of islands comprising 39 states and 18 associate members of UN regional commissions, with an aggregate population of 65 million.

Due to their unique development contexts – and often remote geographical locations – SIDS are some of the most vulnerable and affected by climate change, making up more than 60% of countries suffering the highest losses from climate-related environmental disasters (e.g. flooding, hurricanes). These are compounded by rising sea levels, which could cost SIDS in the Caribbean alone a loss of US$10 billion in visitor expenditures by 2050.

Transportation of people and goods around and between islands is also of crucial importance to SIDS, who rely on trade and connections between different communities and sectors. However, the development of transport infrastructure is a challenge due to the high costs and complexity involved (e.g. land scarcity and competing priorities), which is exacerbated by the impact of climate change (e.g. flooding, coastal erosion, high temperatures) that can put transport infrastructure at risk.

Call for Innovative Solutions

Recognising these priorities, the UNDP in partnership with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), is collaborating with innovators via two ‘challenge statements’ enabled through the Open Innovation Platform (OIP): "Data-Driven Approach to Manage Coastal Risk" and "Data-Driven Approach to Manage Transport Infrastructure". These challenges aim to leverage innovative technologies and new ways of working and thinking to pave the way towards a resilient and sustainable future for SIDS communities. SG$25,000 of funding has been made available for selected innovators to test and iterate solutions within the above contexts – in collaboration with SIDS, UNDP, and other partners.