VJU Lecturer in Winner's Circle at UNDP's 2017 BIG IDEAS COMPETITION

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Great news came in for Vietnam Japan University (VJU) in December, as Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Huy, lecturer of the Master’s Program in Climate Change, together with his two colleagues, Dr. Duong Trong Hai and Dr. Tong Thi My Thi won Country Prize at 2017 Big Ideas Competition for Climate Action for their project “Mobile application for disaster and extreme events early warning: A co-model of public and community crowd-sourced data for urban disaster resilience”. This idea is a highly applicable and currently being promoted by the group of authors for practical implementation.

Big Ideas 2017: Big Ideas Competition for Climate Action Using Data Innovation

This year’s Big Ideas Competition is organized by UNGP (United Nations Global Pulse) and aims to raise awareness on opportunities driven by Big Data for sustainable development and humanitarian activities. The third edition of Big Ideas Competition is a joint initiative between the National Information Society Agency (NIA), Korea Association for ICT Promotion (KAIT), the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of the Republic of Korea, the United Nations Development Programme in Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Volunteers, and Pulse Lab Jakarta, with support from the Government of Australia.

Big Ideas Competition for Climate Change Using Data Innovation

The Big Ideas 2017 is looking for data-driven ideas to monitor climate-related indicators to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change and to properly integrate them in national policies. The competition was highly competitive, with more than 160 proposals from applicants throughout Member States, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea. After a careful evaluation, 11 most outstanding projects which address immensely important issues in each country and demonstrate great practicality were selected to advance to the final round.

As one of the winning ideas in this competition, the project “Mobile application for disaster and extreme events early warning: a co-model of public and​ ​community​ ​crowd-sourced​ ​data​ ​for​ ​urban​ ​disaster​ ​resilience​” by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Huy and his colleagues is set to be deployed soon. The project has drawn meticulous attention from numerous agencies and organizations in Vietnam.

Mobile application for early warnings of disasters and extreme events 

Climate change has exerted increasingly severe impacts on the local community with the occurrence of natural disasters and such extreme events as storms, tides, droughts, and saline intrusion, etc. to a greater extent and frequency. However, ineffective early warnings systems, particularly their limited accessibility to the public, have resulted in sizeable figures of injury, death and property damage.

“The behaviors of the Vietnamese people have changed, especially of those in the urban areas. People now have become less receptive to traditional media such as newspapers, television or radio. The use of traditional media channels would make it difficult for early disaster alerts to reach the public in a timely manner.” Dr. Huy shared: “Mobile phone is probably the first thing you look at in the morning and the last thing you look at before bed.” It is now built with various features which enable instant access at any time.”

With an aim to developing an application integrated with weather forecasts and early warnings, the project by  Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Huy provides a feasible solution to the above issues.

According to Dr. Huy, the mobile application utilizes two sources of data inputs, namely real-time weather forecasts and early warnings. Accordingly, early warnings, e.g. disaster alerts, weather conditions, and air quality for each region, come from reputable open sources such as the Global Forecasting System (US), European Center for Weather Forecasts (EU), satellite images by JAXA (Japan), and Vietnam National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF). In addition, real-time operating system allows users to provide updates on disasters in a similar mode to social networking sites. Real-time images and messages would then be verified, updated to the system and passed on to relevant authorities in case of emergency. The system thus sets up an up-to-date and multidimensional database where users become informants.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Huy, Lecturer of the Master’s Program in Climate Change, Vietnam Japan University

This is not the first time VJU faculty members and students have claimed prizes for their innovative ideas for business and community development in recent years. As research is central to the vision of VJU, the University, despite its young age, pays undivided attention and carries out many policies and actions to encourage and support scientific research of its students and academic staffs. Thus, VJU expects more high-quality practical research projects to be conceived in the coming time, contributing to unblocking bottlenecks and fostering the development of the country as well as the region.


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