ImpactMapper named one of top 100 AI solutions for sustainable development by UNESCO (IRCAI)
Quantifying the seemingly unquantifiable
18 February 2022 – ImpactMapper, a ground-breaking digital platform that helps organizations measure and optimize social impact and sustainability, is proud to be named one of the global top 100 AI solutions for sustainable development by the International Research Centre in Artificial Intelligence under the auspices of UNESCO (IRCAI).
Following initial publication of the GlobalTop 100 list in December 2021, the IRCAI has today published its full report detailing the selected solutions from all five geographic regions of the UnitedNations, that directly or indirectly solve one or more sustainable development problems, including research innovations implemented in these solutions. In their selection, IRCAI reviewers placed a strong focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence, or data science across all scientific disciplines. The main focus was on solutions for one or more Sustainable Development Goals.
When aiming to track impact, most software and analytic tools focus primarily on numbers rather than the experiences and stories of people affected by the change. Organizations are therefore left with vast amounts of text and report data that contain detailed information on the social change process and impact trends, which are left unanalyzed.
Led by data scientist and impact evaluation expert, Alexandra Pittman, ImpactMapper specializes in helping organizations get the most out of their text data, and align that data with other quantitative impact metrics and financial data. Its all-in-one SaaS tool allows users to manually code and tag their text data, align it with their indicators and metrics for change, and visualize that data alongside quantitative data to provide a holistic view of their program impact.
Commenting on the news, Alexandra Pittman, founder and CEO of ImpactMapper, said:
“We are honored to be named one of the top 100 most promising projects working to solve problems related to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals with the application of Artificial Intelligence.
“By quantifying the seemingly unquantifiable, in the philanthropic sector, our unique tool helps donors, non-profit organizations, corporates and impact investors identify what is working and what is not to fast-forward social change and share the stories that matter most.
“In line with our values, at ImpactMapper we do not use black box algorithms for categorizations without human intervention. Instead, we are building interactive machine learning algorithms for coding outcomes and impact, where a human validates tagged outcomes data. This provides an opportunity to train away potentially biased data and improve reliability with a human rights lens.”
Looking ahead, the ImpactMapper team is working on expanding the solution by further improving coding efficiency to enable the mining of data on social impact at an unprecedented scale. The team is also running impact data collection projects, in collaboration with NGOs and partners inUNESCO member states. This includes the collection of data for a project documenting the decade-long achievements of women's rights organizations around the globe and aligning their outcomes with the SDGs. This collective searchable database currently includes data from over 30 countries and is available for the public and development community to learn from, to see which strategies are working, and to connect with groups that may be working in similar spaces.