Lambert Hogenhout

Lambert Hogenhout is Chief Data Analytics, Partnerships and Technology Innovation at the Office for Information and Communications Technology (OICT) in the United Nations Secretariat.

He has spent the past 25 years working both in the private sector and with international organizations such as the World Bank and the United Nations. His current focus is to apply frontier technologies for good and to research the effect of the rapid pace of technological change on society.

2019 Talk: Knowledge graphs at the UN

The emerging technologies team at the United Nations uses modern technologies from data analytics to machine learning to natural language processing to regularly create tools that aim to provide various departments in the UN with new insights. Examples are: predicting violence during elections, quantifying the economic impact of conflict, measuring public sentiment on governmental policies and classifying disaster prevention documents. The new insight (knowledge) that is created is typically provided to the intended user in an interactive dashboard or tool, sometimes as a formatted report. However, beyond its immediate use, the knowledge is not retained, nor used for further analysis outside the context of the project – the knowledge remains siloed.

This presentation describes our vision to systematically capture these insights in a knowledge graph, link them semantically and allow them to play an increasing role as a source for new analysis. We expect that this may help us identify new connections and dynamics in the UN’s socioeconomic, political and security related data. We describe the vision, the phasing of the project and technical and organizational challenges. The presentation is very much intended as an invitation for feedback and advice from the community.