Beatriz Gonzalez is an international UN Volunteer from Spain. She's 57 and has lived in Tunisia for many years. Her familiarity with the cultural context plus her background in statistics put her at a vantage point to serve as a Statistics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) specialist with UNDP in Tunisia.
Beatriz was looking to resume her career path. She had been out of a job for some years due to family reasons. It was early 2021 when she found a breakthrough in the form of a UN Volunteer assignment in data analysis and GIS.
I was researching information on the involvement of the United Nations in development and environmental protection when I came across this volunteering opportunity," says Beatriz.
She explains why science is so important for sustainable development.
Through science, we can effectively channel the geographic areas and populations that need development the most. Science is the edifice upon which appropriate and tailored strategies are built and solutions are planned. It is for that reason that the United Nations has created a comprehensive set of indicators to standardize the measurement of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals."
In Tunisia, sound national statistical capacity is a fundamental requirement to achieve SDG 16. But due to insufficient data, measuring the progress on SDG Goal 16 is difficult. To counter this, UNDP, UNODC, and OHCHR developed an instrument – in the form of a survey – to aid data collection. Here Beatriz's expertise helped provide the statistical analysis of the indicators from a pilot survey conducted in Medenine, in the south of Tunisia. Later she also wrote the report.
The positive impact of this survey is that now it's possible to develop, test, and finalize survey modules, and include this reporting to better measure the progress of SDG 16.
I helped developed a tool that made it possible to integrate and display data in an understandable way. And also made it easier to analyze the relationships between different indicators. This is what we need for informed and targeted decision-making," says Beatriz.
Beatriz further honed her technical skills in analyzing multi-layered vulnerabilities in national statistical data – through an analysis of socio-economic indicators in the geographic data.
On International Day of Women and Girls in Science and in the lead-up to International Women's Day, we celebrate Beatriz and her commitment to highlighting science and innovation, a field where the gender gap remains significant.