Scientists without borders for co-operation


Changing the world with data analysis is an initiative of Jake Porway, scientist in the R&D department of the New York Times, who combines non-profit and statistics in the service of humanity. And yet he is not the only one promoting this sort of “laboratory volunteerism”.

by Donata Columbro

Jake spends his days analyzing large data streams and his nights finding out how to use these them for the common good.

Companies like Google and Amazon are well aware of the importance of working with a team of researchers and analysts for the control and management of the data. Nevertheless, non-profit associations either do not recognize or do not have the means to acknowledge such a resource.

Porway founded Datakind, an organization whose purpose is to bridge the gap between the most advanced statistical studies and the needs of NGOs. Thanks to a team of powerful analysts who volunteer their time for free, NGOs are supported in the collection, analysis, management and visualization of data so that they can finally be part of this peaceful “revolution”.

By accessing the site, you can register as either a volunteer for data analysis or as and NGO, submitting its own database. You can see the UI here:


In an interview to be published in the next issue of VpS network, Beth Kanter explained how those data, especially the open one, are the future of non-profits and international cooperation. An increasing number of technology enthusiasts are starting to support NGO initiatives, from the United States to Asia. An excellent example of such initiatives is Geeks Without Bounds, a “humanitarian projects accelerator”, which, in the event of a crisis, lends a pool experts at mapping emergencies to international organizations. On top of our “Informatics without Borders”, there also are “Statisticians without Borders” along with hackers who work for the good of humanity (Hack for change).

Do you want to change the world? Well, then it is time you study computer science rather than cooperation for development.



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