Demographic intelligence, Digital technologies, Geographic information systems (GIS), Remote sensing, Satellite technologies, Sustainable development goals
In cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This course is a part of the “Bridging ICTs and Environment” workshop series run by the ISEPEI project.


Course date

5 July - 9 July, 2021
Application for this course is closed.
Course Director(s): 

Viktor Lagutov

ISEPEI Project, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, CEU

Lorant Czaran

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Course Faculty: 

Anupam Anand

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Alan Belward

European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC)

Douglas Cripe

Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat

Stefan Kienberger

Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Austria

Masahiko Nagai

Center for Research and Application of Satellite Remote Sensing (YUCARS), Yamaguchi University

Ed Parsons

Google, UK

Kanat Sultanaliev

American University of Central Asia (AUCA)

Pablo Vega

Tracasa Instrumental

Susan Winchell-Sweeney

Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, USA
With the latest call by UN Secretary General for a “revolution” in the use of data for sustainable development, geospatial technologies have tremendous potential to boost the movement towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to improve monitoring of relevant SDGs’ targets and indicators. 
Geospatial technologies and remote sensing offer a crucial location element to the monitoring of SDGs . The unprecedented “power of where” allows for unbiased observation and analysis across borders, administrative boundaries, and nations.
Yet there is still a gap between the technology world and the world of environmental decision- and policy-makers. Despite the tremendous potential digital technologies offer, there are still traditional fears among practitioners that prevent their uptake. Furthermore, these technologies are constantly changing and improving, making it even more difficult for practitioners to track the updates about the potential use and application of technologies, such as geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing.
This course is part of a series of ISEPEI’s “Bridging ICTs and the Environment” workshops that aim to address that gap through providing in-service education and professional training. This annual workshop series provides an opportunity for non-specialists to get updated on the latest advances in relevant technologies and to learn how these tools can be applied in SDG monitoring. The series have been successfully conducted at CEU since 2014 in cooperation with various UN agencies (UNEP, UNDP, UNOOSA, UNFPA, UNECE, UN FAO, etc.) and global key stakeholders in digital technologies (European Commissions Joint Research Center, Airbus, Esri, Google, MAXAR, etc).
Geospatial technologies can be employed in achieving and monitoring most of, if not all, SDGs, particularly: no poverty (Goal 1); zero hunger (Goal 2), clean water and sanitation (Goal 6); sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11); climate action (Goal 13). The goal of this course is to equip practitioners and researchers working on  demographic aspects of SDGs with knowledge and skills of using digital technologies to make more informed, data-driven decisions and to conduct studies.
This year’s course is organized in cooperation with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), so the primary focus in presentations and case studies will be given to demography, as well as health and poverty issues. A large number of the SDG indicators are linked to population and demographic data, or could be derived from census data.
The workshop will cover a number of technologies including remote sensing, geospatial technologies, data collection, and decision-support systems, among others. In particular, the role of satellite-based earth monitoring and remote sensing in achieving SDGs will be discussed, highlighting their potential and limitations. 
Theoretical presentations and best use practices in geospatial technologies will be accompanied by practical sessions on their application (e.g. satellite imagery analysis, use of mobile technologies, mapping).
The course consists of 2 online components: preparatory asynchronous stage with prerecorded practical sessions familiarizing participants with basics of geospatial technologies (in June); and week-long synchronous stage (July 5-9th, 3 hours daily, 9-12 am CET) with live online presentations by renowned experts and practitioners accompanied by group discussions and practical exercises. To pass the course participants are expected to attend all online sessions and complete a series of individual assignments.
The course is open for both non-technical practitioners and academia. Previous knowledge of GIS and remote sensing is not required.


The Introduction to Geospatial Technologies for Achieving SDGs – Demographic Considerations workshop continues the series of joint UN-CEU training events under the ISEPEI Project “Bridging ICTs and the Environment”. The ISEPEI Project aims to address the gap between geospatial industry and practitioners by providing in-service education and professional training for environmental decision-makers and practitioners, who are in a position to greatly benefit from this data revolution to better shape management strategies and to make more informed, data-driven decisions.
For more information about ISEPEI courses