UN World Data 
Forum 2021 

Session on
Innovative Use of Social Media for
Remote Sensing and SDG Monitoring


Tuesday 5 October 2021
13:00 - 14:00 UTC

9:00 New York | 15:00 Bern/Paris | 21:00 Shanghai


The IUSSP Panel on Digital Demography held this session at the United Nations World Data Forum 2021, 3 to 6 October 2021. 

To watch a video recording of the session,
click here

This session will bring together experts from NSOs, international organizations, and academia working on cutting edge research using social media in an innovative way to address some of these issues. The session introduces novel, not-so-obvious aspects of using social media data that go beyond simplistic tweet counting or sentiment analysis. A particular emphasis is on ways to complement existing sources of data from NSO’s, which can help in real time sensing and monitoring SDG indicators. Examples of topics to be discussed include (i) the use of public Twitter data to complement disaster response efforts by actively reaching out to users for information, (ii) using Facebook advertisements to survey large populations of people at a fraction of cost of the traditional surveys, and (iii) debiasing social media data and combining it with survey data to enable effective measurements at scale. At least one of the speakers will share her experience with listening to citizen concerns through social media during the pandemic.

The goal of the session is to enable the flow of ideas from the latest advances and experiences to a diverse audience, including technologists, journalists, policy makers and academics. The selected speakers will all present ideas that have practical relevance and could be scaled up, hopefully leading to meaningful engagement and follow-up.  

A full description of the session is available here.


Ingmar Weber 
Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)

Stefano Cresci 
Institute of Informatics and Telematics, National Research Council (IIT-CNR), Pisa, Italy

Ridhi Kashyap
Oxford University

Setia Pramana
Politeknik Statistika STIS Indonesia & Sub-Directorate Statistical Model Development, BPS Statistics Indonesia

Lisa Singh
Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM), Georgetown University

Katherine Hoffman Pham
NYU Stern School of Business & UN Global Pulse