A group of 26 post-graduate students from China’s Northeastern Polytechnic University (NPU) completed this month the United Nations University (UNU) Digital Technologies and Sustainable Development Programme, initiated by United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU Macau).
The training focused on applied research in computer science with international focus on the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related digital technologies. Between 24 October and 3 November, students completed one week of online training and one week of face-to-face sessions in Macau.
During the programme, students from NPU received training on SDGs, career development in the UN and other international organizations and agent-based modelling.
Agent-based modelling is an approach where researchers represent actors and individuals involved in a complex system and their interactions using computational simulations. Multiple social and environmental systems on the planet are experiencing massive stresses leading to migration, poverty, and displacement, among other issues. Governments and international organizations' decisions on policies and investments need to be better informed, and this can be achieved by using integrated models where citizens are more involved, so policies are more relevant and accepted. The objective of such models is to provide a realistic, simplified representation of reality.
Throughout the training, participants were engaged in lectures and collaborative learning activities, including a role-playing game on public health issues. Students also worked on a group project aimed at designing a specific model to address public health issues during pandemic times.