Belgrade, June 30 - Four research teams, winners of the "Depopulation Data Challenge", presented their new findings on population movements in Serbia, economic migrations abroad, Serbian scientists in diaspora, as well as on the spatial aspects of depopulation.
All teams combined official with alternative data sources, in order to gain a deeper and more accurate insight into the dynamics of migration inside and outside Serbia, which is closer to real time than existing statistics.
Their work was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), in order to contribute to the creation of new public policies to respond to depopulation in Serbia.
Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia, Borka Jeremic, Assistant Representative and Head of Office, UNFPA Serbia, Marija Bogdanovic, Program Lead, Migration for Development and Migration and Diaspora in Serbia (GIZ) and Natali Delic, Telekom Srbija's Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, will also attend the presentation of the solutions.
"When it comes to complex challenges, such as depopulation, our ability to adapt and understand changes as they happen is crucial to finding successful and sustainable solutions. That is why we gathered researchers and invited them to use new data sources, to be creative and innovative, in order to shed light on this phenomenon from different angles. We hope that the knowledge and new methods that the researchers came up with will contribute to the creation of more efficient public policies, in line with the new demographic reality in Serbia, but also in the region and globally", said Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia.
According to Borka Jeremic, UNFPA Assistant Representative and Head of Office in Serbia, many countries in the region, are facing lower birth rates, extended life expectancy and emigration, same as Serbia. "Every fifth person in Serbia is older than 65, and we are yet to see the effects of demographic aging. Our regional program for demographic resilience includes support for maintaining the census, which is planned for the fall of 2022 and whose findings will be enriched with a unique set of data from alternative sources and solutions of the winners of the Depopulation Data challenge”, Jeremic pointed out.
"The migration profile of Serbia, as a set of data that is produced on an annual level, is a prerequisite and starting tool for the work of all organizations and institutions dealing with the topic of migration in Serbia. The speed and variability with which migration flows take place now require new ways of collecting data, as well as a greater diversity of data. In order to create appropriate, timely measures, so that Serbia can benefit from the economic and social contribution of its citizens on the move, German Development Cooperation supports innovative ways of generating data, with the help of new scientific research and digitalization", said Marija Bogdanovic, Lead of the Migration and Diaspora programme of GIZ in Serbia.
“At Telekom Srbija we are committed to support and drive digitalization of society, we recognize the opportunities for data-centric business models, and we believe that combination of open data and business sector data are great potential for innovation. Of course, this is the area where we need to install rigorous practices and ensure privacy, fair and ethical data use and that requires a lot of work and sensitivity. But as leader in telecommunications and governmentally owned company we also have moral obligation to support initiatives which can lead to improving quality of life in Serbia. That is why we found the way to support depopulation data challenge and we will continue to support all similar, positive innovative initiatives in the future”, said Natali Delic, Telekom Srbija's Chief Strategy and Digital Officer.