Authorea & Sumit Proposal
Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. We aim to accelerate joint learning and help to overcome the compartmentalization of technical and policy work by promoting integrated approaches to the interconnected economic, social, and environmental challenges confronting the world. The SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
The organization and governance of the SDSN aims to enable a large number of leaders from all regions and a diverse set of backgrounds to participate in the running of the network while at the same time ensuring effective structures for decision making and accountability. The SDSN Leadership Council acts as the board of the SDSN. A smaller Executive Committee oversees financial, programmatic, and other operational matters. Twelve Thematic Groups involving experts from around the world lead the technical work of the SDSN. Members of the SDSN are part of the SDSN Assembly and can participate in National or Regional SDSNs. A small Academic Committee deals with issues relating to education and curriculum design. The SDSN Secretariat is hosted by Columbia University with staff in Paris, New York, and New Delhi. (UNSDSN.org)
SUMIT aims to foster collaboration and bridge the knowledge divides between sustainable development actors by creating an Open Access Knowledge Management System (OpenKMS), which seamlessly integrates the four main components of the Knowledge Value Chain into an interactive and user-friendly online experience. This value chain consists of knowledge creation, curation, communication, and application. SUMIT aims to create value by leveraging emerging technologies and design methodologies to build an intelligent repository of sustainable development knowledge, enabling users to discover links between disparate fields and tailor integrated content based on their specific questions and professional goals.
What if all the solutions to our problems are in pdfs that nobody reads? This is the motivating question that compelled us to seriously consider the wasted resources, duplicate efforts, and lack of collaboration across disciplines like public health, education, agriculture, and urban planning. Indeed, in a recent study the World Bank found only 13% of its reports are downloaded more than 250 times while nearly a third are never downloaded and over 87% are never cited. For an organization that dedicates a quarter of its budget on core knowledge management products, this is a dismal track record. While everyone would benefit from sharing knowledge, experiences, and lessons learned in the field, the current system for funding, designing, implementing, and evaluating programs are rigid and rely on precedent.
We provide an intuitive cloud-based research tool for finding and sharing credible reports, papers, datasets, and monitoring and evaluation tools. By leveraging machine learning and human centered design, SUMIT tailors content to a variety of stakeholders including academics, consultants, policy makers, international development practitioners, and students. At its core, SUMIT aggregates knowledge resources from credible sources around the web using APIs and webcrawling technology. One of the primary means of communication in the international development sector is the pdf report, which we convert to the web-native HTML5 format. This enables us to translate documents to other languages and drive our recommendation system for tailoring content to specific use cases, be it in policy-making, program implementation, or social advocacy.
SUMIT aims to transform the way international development knowledge is created, accessed, shared and applied. Our mission is to enhance the research capacity of professionals and civil society actors who do important work in the global development community by making knowledge more open, accessible, and participatory.