A Strategic Summit in Helsinki

Date: 20th February 2024

Enhancing Sustainable Development Through Data Engineering


In February 2024, the directors of INGO ME and Fjelltopp convened in Helsinki, Finland, to engage in a strategic dialogue focused on the advancement of data engineering projects for sustainable development. This summit, spanning from the 15th to the 17th, marked a significant step in our collaborative journey, emphasising innovation and future opportunities for our partnership.

About INGO ME

INGO ME, established in 2022 by Taavi Erkkola, is a private consultancy firm based in Helsinki, Finland. It specialises in data systems development, monitoring, and evaluation for international, governmental, and non-governmental organisations, with a strong focus on the health sector. The company brings together a team of experts with vast international experience in development, under Taavi’s leadership.  Prior to founding Ingo Me, Taavi spent 20 years working with UNAIDS, finishing at their global HQ in Geneva as Chief of Strengthening National Capacities and Dissemination.   INGO ME is committed to enhancing the utilisation of data for health-sector programs, strengthening data use, monitoring, evaluation, and accountability towards partners. It leverages a broad network of international experts specialised in various aspects of public health, emphasising transparency, skill-building, management excellence, and public health impact focus in its operations.

Key Collaborative Projects

Our discussions were focused upon two major initiatives that we are collaborating upon:

  • The WHO AFRO Data Hub | This project seeks to revolutionise health data management across African member states by employing advanced data integration and visualisation technologies. It aims at fostering data sustainability and enhancing the operational effectiveness of health interventions.
  • National Research Repository for Zambia | This UNICEF funded initiative endeavours to construct a digital repository to facilitate the improved accessibility and utility of research findings. It is characterised by its emphasis on stakeholder engagement, capacity enhancement, and a structured implementation plan, all underpinned by open-source technology.

Inspiration from Helsinki’s Technological and Sustainable Landscape

The Helsinki summit agenda was structured to blend focussed work sessions with cultural engagements.  This enabled us to build a stronger sense of team and also create space for  creativity. Our strategic discussions took place at the Oodi Central Library, an icon of modern architecture and innovation in Helsinki. Oodi’s dynamic environment supported our focus on key projects like the WHO Afro Data Hub and the UNICEF Zambia Research Repository, offering spaces that inspired creativity and collaboration. Alongside our meetings, we immersed ourselves in Helsinki’s culture, visiting the Ryoji Ikeda exhibition at Amos Rex, enjoying a traditional Finnish sauna, and dining at sustainability-focused restaurants. This blend of productivity and local exploration fostered a unique and fruitful dialogue, underlining the summit’s success.

Here is a brief summary of our discussions during the summit:

  • We met with technical staff from WHO Geneva to learn more about the WHO Global Health Data Hub. 
  • We discussed the methodology for conducting a needs assessment for the Zambia Research Repository. 
  • We explored creative ways to improve our software solutions, including ideas using generative AI and a more reactive web design. 
  • We reviewed the COAR Community Framework for Good Practices in Repositories and a strategy to deliver all essential features through our CKAN projects. 
  • We shared strategic ideas of finding and winning new consulting work within our sector of international development and public health

Our Partnership: Beyond Technology Towards a Sustainable Future

Our collaboration goes beyond technology, embodying a shared commitment to creating sustainable solutions with significant impact in the public health domain. Through our concerted efforts in projects such as the WHO AFRO Data Hub and the National Research Repository for UNICEF, we strive not only for technical excellence but also for meaningful contributions to sustainable development. 

Please do get in touch if you have any problems or ideas that you think Fjelltopp’s partnership with INGO ME may have a unique perspective upon.  Also, maybe you carry experience in a similar field to us and would be interested in partnering with us?  Whatever it is, we’d be delighted to hear from you – set up a free consultation with us here.