UN Volunteer Data Analysis Officer Namchok Petsaen (Thailand, centre) serves with UNDP, Armenia. Here, he is seen during the Assignment Preparation Training for UN Volunteers held in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2019.
UN Volunteer Data Analysis Officer Namchok Petsaen (Thailand, fourth from right) serves with UNDP in Armenia. Here, he participates in a team-building exercise during assignment preparation training held in Istanbul, Turkey.

Learning big data and enhancing disability awareness with UNDP in Armenia

The UNDP/UNV Talent Programme for Young Professionals with Disabilities enables youth to acquire experience and contribute to the United Nations as UN Volunteers. During 2018-2019, UNV deployed 15 persons with disabilities under the Talent Programme. Another 16 UN Volunteers and several online volunteers with disabilities served across the UN. Namchok Petsaen (Thailand) serves as a UN Volunteer Data Analysis Officer under the Talent Programme, and shares his experience with UNDP in Armenia.

I serve as a UN Volunteer with UNDP, as part of the Armenia National SDG Innovation Lab, which supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.  I came to Armenia in February 2019 with high expectations, keen to learn more about data analysis and big data. 

When I joined the lab, the data scientists invited me to learn new skills and technologies relevant to big data. I also invited them to learn more about disability awareness and about inclusive workspaces. --UN Volunteer Data Analysis Officer Namchok Petsaen with UNDP, Armenia

Initially, the data scientists really worried about my wellbeing and me settling into the office, but after a few months they gained confidence and learned more about disability awareness. This was a good opportunity for me to share knowledge and make them aware of disabilities in the workplace, so they, in turn, can share information with their colleagues, with friends and within their UN organizations.

The objective of the project is to bring experimentation and evidence into policy-making to build a more sustainable growth path for Armenia. The lab works on two main areas of data and statistics: utilization of big data sources for evidence-based policy-making, and the development of a real-time platform for measuring and visualizing implementation of the SDGs in the country. (Innovative Solutions for SDG Implementation in Armenia, UNDP)

Right now, I support two projects: one is called travel insights and focuses on gathering data and feedback from visitors on the positive and negative aspects of tourism in Armenia. The other project is called education to work, where we collect data about job opportunities and analyze required professional skills, in order to provide information for policymakers about the employment market.

We collect data, analyse it and develop data visualization tools. This enables the Government and policymakers to revise policies and put in place laws that provide a better quality of life for the citizens of Armenia.

Namchok Petsaen (Thailand) holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Roi-Et Rajabhat University and a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. He is the former organizer and leader of the IT Innovation Club at Roi-Et Rajabhat University, and event manager for "Developing Potential and Transforming Perceptions" in Nong Khai Province, Thailand.