Our story and goals

Originating in Jakarta in 2019, the Hub was anchored at the centre of a growing Asian capability in data and tech innovation which continues to be applied to local and global development challenges. Now also focussing on African capability and challenges, the Hub brings novel research-industry partnerships and multi-disciplinary expertise to improve the use of data and technology in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, whilst challenging old assumptions in the use of data and tech in development.

Digital Futures is powered by in-house NIRAS staff with unique and varied international experience and networks in using data and tech effectively, combining the latest innovative thinking with established best practice in development, policy, and data standards.

We select the right partners for each new challenge and work with the global data community to inspire a better world through numbers and digital technology. The Hub brings together specialists in digital data, software developers, data scientists, official statisticians, M&E experts, engineers and many more.

The NIRAS Digital Futures Hub has a unique set of values which drive our work:

• Digitisation is driven by data; enhanced approaches to data quality are even more important for decision-making in the digital era
• Innovation should not automatically be valued over good practice or improvements in traditional methods or data
• South-South cooperation is a primary goal where possible; we recognise the value of sharing home-grown knowledge and the building of local capacities
• We strive to disseminate learning publicly and contribute to the development of a global community of practice in digital data and tech solutions for the SDGs
• Learning from the digitisation of NIRAS’ internal processes leads to improved in-house expertise and better solutions for our clients and partners