Why Social Innovation?
The overflow of information generated during disasters can paralyze humanitarian response efforts just like lack of information does. Computers, mobile phones, social media, mainstream news, earth-based sensors, humanitarian drones and orbiting satellites generate vast volumes of data during major disasters. Making sense of this flash flood of information, “Big Data”, is proving an impossible challenge for traditional humanitarian organizations. To meet this challenge, QCRI’s Social Innovation Program partners directly with humanitarian organizations around the world to develop the next generation humanitarian technologies they need to make sense of “Big Data." Our humanitarian technologies are also directly applicable to a wide range of other social good initiatives, ranging from wildlife protection and election monitoring to building resilient societies and flying drones for good.
A list of our ongoing projects is available here. The video below also introduces some of our flagship technologies, which have also been featured in Science, New Scientist, Nature, Wired, Mashable, Tech Crunch, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, CNN, BBC, Forbes Magazine, Times Magazine, Reuters, UK Guardian, Al Jazeera and elsewhere.
Our Social Innovation Strategy
1) Social Good Doha: Applying social innovation locally for meaningful social impact
2) Humanitarian: Enabling humanitarian organizations to improve their relief efforts
3) Development: Supporting poverty-reduction strategies of development organizations
4) Resilience: Providing cities with the means to monitor city resilience in real-timeAs an institute for advanced computing research, development and prototyping, our comparative advantage lies in Data Science, Big Data Analytics, Social Computing, Machine Learning, Computational Social Science, Machine Translation and Language Technologies. We thus approach social challenges through the lens of Human Computing (crowdsourcing, microtasking, etc) and Machine Computing (natural language processing, machine learning, etc). The purpose of our Social Innovation Program is to apply our world-class expertise to address and positively impact major challenges around the world.
We do this through extensive series of direct consultations with humanitarian, development and environmental organizations during which we jointly identify the most pressing challenges they are facing. This process is critical and takes time; it is not rushed. A careful approach to identifying, scoping and defining the applied research agenda is imperative. The process is one of co-creation. With the agenda jointly defined, QCRI forms a dedicated Solution Team for the given research questions, selecting advanced computing experts from across our research groups including Big Data Analytics, Social Computing and Language technologies.
The Solution Team carries out the applied research & development (R&D) and prototyping through a series of well-defined phases. The first phase of our social innovation process seeks to answer the research questions jointly formulated with our partners. The findings from this phase serve as proof of concept and thus inform the second phase of our work--namely the development of a prototype. The third phase entails the piloting and co-deployment of this prototype with our partners. The results are then used to develop more robust and targeted platforms; this completes phase four. The fifth and final phase involves the spin-off and scaling of the platform through strategic partnerships. All prototypes and platforms developed for Social Innovation purposes are free and open source.
To learn more about our projects, click here.
In the Media
Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) senior software engineer Hossam Hammady and lead scientist Dr Mourad Ouzzani. DOHA: A unique application developed in Qatar is widely helping medical ...
Speechmatics is working with the Qatar Computing Research Institute to transcribe Arabic broadcasts and audio files into text. U.K. firm Speechmatics this week announced plans to use the Qatar ...
The Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2016 (ARC’16) will be held on 22nd and 23rd March,2016 at the Qatar National Convention Center. The conference aims to advance Qatar’s ambitious ...
Abstract: We spend a lot of time in out cars, yet this is a part of our lives where we have been vulnerable to the world's leading cause of bodily harm. Now, the digitization of practically ...
QCRI’s Social Computing team members discuss plans for the summit with Dr Ahmed Elmagarmid (second from left). The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), one of Hamad bin Khalifa University’s ...
UK-based company Speechmatics is to use technology developed by the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), a division of Hamad bin Khalifa University, to take Arabic speech-to-text services to ...