School visualization in Sierra Leone

GIGA (formerly “Project Connect”) is a joint initiative of UNICEF and ITU with the ambition to connect every school in the planet to the internet. GIGA focuses on building a database of all schools, including information about location, size, type, and connectivity.

Project Connect was founded through an investment by Greg Wyler, the telecommunications and satellite entrepreneur who recognized that the goal of wiring schools would be hampered by lack of data about schools themselves. If countries don’t know where all schools are located – which is often true – then how can the schools be connected?

A working prototype of GIGA’s database visualization, including detailed data for a number of countries, can be found here.

In October 2019 Wired Magazine highlighted GIGA, as well as its leaders Chris Fabian and Sunita Grote, in its feature WIRED25: Stories of People Who are Racing to Save Us.

A number of other country initiatives are coordinating with GIGA. One notable example is the Digital Public Goods Alliance, supported by the Norwegian Government, which gathers open source technologies and resources of use to developing countries.

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