Atlas AI - 2021 Annual Impact Report

Karen Byrnes

At Atlas AI, one of our four guiding principles is “improving lives.” We aspire to develop technologies that benefit underserved and at-risk communities, while respecting the multi-faceted and nuanced pathways to impact for which technology often plays only a contributing role. 

As 2021 is coming to a close, we are taking a look back at the initiatives we have undertaken in contribution to the international development sector throughout the year.

With our collaborators at the World Bank we are working towards the ambitious goals set forth in the 50x2030 Initiative: a global initiative to improve agricultural productivity in 50 countries by 2030. The first part of our joint work program was officially released as part of the launch of the World Development Report 2021 and the teams continue to plow ahead with more data releases upcoming in 2022. Read all about it here.

We also joined forces with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s incredible Hand-in-Hand Initiative. Our Asset Wealth indices are now available to decision makers across the African continent accelerating progress towards SDG 1 and 2 realization.

We were also thrilled to join the Development Data Partnership, a smart and well-resourced mechanism created to facilitate the use of third party data in research and international development. Talk about being in good company!

True to our academic roots, we are committed to producing and disseminating advancements to our data and methodologies. Some of our notable releases throughout the year included:

Case Studies

  • COVID19 Countdown: What is the most safe, efficient and equitable vaccine distribution plan for Africa?
  • Expanding Energy Access: Where are the most attractive markets in East Africa for energy providers?
  • India Top Trends: How have demographic and economic conditions evolved across India over the last half decade?


Our team also had the opportunity to participate on exciting panel discussions at a variety of events like:

  • SE for ALL - Leveraging demand data for improved energy access planning
  • The 50x2030 Seminar Series
  • CEGA Measuring Development 2021 - Shaping the Aperture - Strengthening the relevance of Atlas AI’s public data resources for the global health community 
  • AfricaGIS 2021

NSF and Virunga National park logos

2021 marked the launch of our National Science Foundation’s Phase II Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) award

We also received external funding to support an incredible initiative – The Virunga Alliance – that’s taking place in Virunga National Park located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Over the next 12 months we will be partnering with a research group at the University of Antwerp that is currently conducting a multi-year evaluation of a large electrification project sponsored by the Alliance. The electrification project is part of a multifaceted effort to support natural resource conservation throughout the national park. Stay tuned for more about both of these amazing initiatives in 2022.

Developing and disseminating novel datasets is only the beginning. To fully leverage the power of new tools and technologies like ours, global development funding models need to make it easier for companies and local organizations to work in this space and collaborate effectively. We proudly joined forces with the like minded folks at Unlock Aid to help make this a reality.

Last but certainly not least, 2021 marked the year that Atlas AI went global. Atlas AI is now fully a virtual company bringing together new ideas, approaches and perspectives from the United States (Bay Area, Southern California, Midwest, East Coast), Eastern Africa, Eastern Europe and Northern India!

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest news on investing and growing your business

world map illustration