商周專欄:眾人之事,眾人助之

:statue_of_liberty: 九月我去紐約時,認識了一位在聯合國工作的朋友,他向我介紹了聯合國人道事務協調廳(UNOCHA)的「人道資料交換平台」(Humanitarian Data Exchange,HDX)計畫。

:hourglass_flowing_sand: 根據聯合國估計,今年全世界約有 42 個國家、超過 1.3 億人需要人道援助,保守估計將花費 219 億美元。而截止今年 6 月,全球就已有超過 7080 萬人流離失所,是空前的歷史新高。面對龐大和複雜的人道危機,如何掌握援助的黃金時間、即時提供救援,成為我們共同面臨的一大困難。

:1234: 因此,HDX 團隊決定「用資料做人道援助」,協助制定資料的共通標準,讓各地從事人道援助工作的朋友,能運用相同的工具來評估不同的狀況。對人道援助工作來說,哪個區域、什麼時候需要資源?一旦失之毫釐,差之千里。透過完整的資料,並能確保所做的決策快速正確,並且切中實際需求。

:chart_with_upwards_trend: 現在,HDX 已經公開全球兩百五十個地區、一萬多個資料集,任何人都能共享共用。此外,HDX 還致力發展人道援助的「預測分析」(Predictive Analytics),邀集眾人共同檢視同一地區的今昔資料,提前掌握可能發生的問題,防患於未然。

:globe_with_meridians: 運用相同的概念,臺灣「民生公共物聯網」採用國際通用標準 SensorThings API,無論是水資源或是空氣品質、甚或防救災的資料,世界上的學術研究、實務工作者,也都可以透過這些開放資料,得到更全面的幫助。

:ledger: 政府資料的透明程度,臺灣在世界上名列前茅。例如政府電子採購網的完整歷史資料,已經在今年對學術研究者公開,但大多數國家並非如此。因此,我們在今年七月的「總統盃黑客松」與開放採購夥伴聯盟(Open Contracting Partnership, OCP)合作,許多來自各國的參賽隊伍因此可以借鏡臺灣經驗,激發出許多好主意。

:trophy: 例如,友邦宏都拉斯透明部長率領的「CoST」團隊,正是積極運用採購資料,讓環境影響評估更透明,解決經濟發展與國土利用衝突;來自馬來西亞的「Mentadak」團隊,也利用開放採購資料標準來識別採購過程中的利益衝突,減少舞弊的可能性,進而協助優良廠商參與公共建設。這兩個團隊最終均獲得國際松優勝。

:children_crossing: 臺灣經驗的成功,重點不在於資料的數量,而是貫徹社會創新的核心精神——「眾人之事,眾人助之」,運用資料達成協作(Data Collaboratives),與國際社會一同做出貢獻。

All for one and one for all

:statue_of_liberty: When I was in New York in September, I befriended Kareem Elbayar, a partnership manager of the United Nations (UN). He introduced me to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) program.

:hourglass_flowing_sand: According to UN estimates, more than 130 million people from 42 countries worldwide are in need of humanitarian assistance this year. The cost is conservatively estimated to be US$21.9 billion. As of June this year, more than 70.80 million people have been displaced worldwide, an unprecedented historical high. In the presence of a huge and complex humanitarian crisis, a major challenge for all of us lies in how to provide immediate relief in the most critical periods.

:1234: Therefore, the HDX team decided to use “data for humanitarian assistance” to help define common standards for information, so that colleagues who work in humanitarian assistance everywhere can use the same tools to assess different situations. For the humanitarian aid work, which region and when do you need resources? A minor inaccuracy can lead to a significant miscalculation. By having complete information, we can ensure fast and accurate decisions to meet the actual needs.

:chart_with_upwards_trend: Currently, HDX has published more than 10,000 data sets in 250 regions around the world, which can be shared and accessed by everyone. In addition, HDX is committed to the development of Predictive Analytics for humanitarian aids. Everyone is invited to review the past and present data of the same region so that potential problems can be understood in advance to prevent crises before they occur.

:globe_with_meridians: Using the same concept, Taiwan’s Civil IoT platform adopts the internationally standardized SensorThings API. For water resources, air quality, or even disaster prevention information, the world’s academic researchers and hands-on workers can get more comprehensive help through these openly available data.

:ledger: Taiwan ranks among the best in the world in terms of transparency of government information. For example, the complete historical data of the government’s electronic procurement network has been made public to academic researchers this year, though this is not the case in most countries. Therefore, in the Presidential Hackathon in July this year, we collaborated with the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP). Many participating teams from various countries were inspired by the experiences of Taiwan for more good ideas.

:trophy: For example, the CoST team led by Minister of Transparency of Honduras is actively using procurement materials to make environmental impact assessments more transparent and to resolve conflicts in economic development and public land use. The Mentadak team from Malaysia also uses open procurement data standards to identify conflicts of interest in the procurement process. This reduces the possibility of fraud and helps good manufacturers participate in public construction. Both teams won the hackathon at the end.

:children_crossing: The success of Taiwan’s experience does not lie in the amount of information, but in the core spirit of social innovation - “all for one and one for all”. Through Data Collaboratives, we are contributing along with the international community.