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SIPA’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fellows, winners of the 2018 Geneva Challenge on Climate Change

How can we prevent violence caused by climate change?

In Africa’s Sahel region, south of the Sahara Desert, herding and agriculture contribute to almost 90% of the economy. As climate change impacts the land, herders and farmers increasingly move to better conditions. But this migration can lead to violent conflicts as people compete for scarcer and scarcer resources.

Data Analytics for Sustainable Herding (DASH) is a new project from School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) students that explores how big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning can prevent violence directly caused by climate change's effects. DASH won the 2018 Geneva Challenge for Climate Change, a competition among graduate students “to present innovative and pragmatic solutions to address the main challenges of today’s world.”

DASH maps and visualizes changes in migration, climate, and natural resource use. Yet it also maps violent conflicts and analyzes their causes. Through machine learning, DASH combines this information into a model that predicts resource shortages and, in close to real-time, conflicts. This model can help inform policies aimed to prevent violence. Learn more.

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