Founding institutions and initial core members

Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
MIT MediaLab
Overseas Development Institute

Additional core member

Flowminder Foundation

Core funding provided by

Rockefeller Foundation

Main project funding provided by

World Bank Group
Hewlett Foundation
World Bank Group

Hosted in NYC by


Our Mission

Data-Pop Alliance is a global coalition on Big Data and development
created by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, MIT Media Lab, and Overseas Development Institute that brings together researchers, experts, practitioners, and activists to promote a people-centered Big Data revolution
through collaborative research, capacity building, and community engagement. As of February 2016, Flowminder Foundation has joined Data-Pop Alliance as its fourth Core Member.

What's Happening

Join us. Get involved.


Big Data and Development Events

May  2016
  • OCHA Film Screening
    Starts: 6:00 pm, May 23, 2016
    Ends: 8:00 pm, May 23, 2016
    Location: ThoughtWorks, Inc., 99 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, United States
    Description: On the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, please join Data-Pop Alliance and OCHA's Humanitarian Data Exchange in New York for a Remote Side Event on Humanitarian Data!

    The event will feature a talk on Big Data and HDX, the launch of a map explorer and the screening of a brand new film produced by HDX entitled, "Making the Invisible Visible: a Short Film about Humanitarian Data." Drinks and light refreshments will be provided.

    Space is limited. RSVP
  • WHS Official Side Event: How Real-Time Information Systems and New Data Can Improve Decision-Making
    Starts: 2:00 am, May 24, 2016
    Ends: 3:30 am, May 24, 2016
    Location: Rumeli Hall 7, Lütfi Kırdar Convention & Exhibition Center (LKCC), Istanbul, Turkey

    Description: In partnership with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Overseas Development Institute, MIT Media Lab, Flowminder Foundation, UNDP, UNICEF and WFP, we are hosting an official side event to the World Humanitarian Summit focused on the potential and limitations of real-time information and new and emerging data to improve decision-making, as well as areas for future investment with a focus on strengthening local capacities. The side event will include rapid lightning talks that canvass emerging (Big) data-driven applications in the humanitarian and development spaces, as well as an expert panel to discuss new partnerships in leveraging these opportunities both towards applied collaborative research and practical solutions.
  • MIT Big Data Conference: Shaping the Future of Latin America
    Starts: 9:00 am, May 26, 2016
    Ends: 5:25 pm, May 26, 2016
    Location: JW Marriott Hotel Bogota, Cl. 73 #8-60, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
    Description: A sure-to-be exciting conference, put on by MIT Sloan Latin America Office and with Avanxo, about Latin America's future with Big Data.

    Speakers include Alex "Sandy" Pentland (Toshiba Professor of Media Arts & Sciences, MIT), Simón Gaviria (General Director, Departamento Nacional de Planeación), Marta González (Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT), Andrew Lo (Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor and Professor of Finance, MIT Sloan), Elizabeth Bruce (Executive Director, Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, MIT), and Roberto Rigobon (Professor of Applied Economics, MIT Sloan).

    Register here:

Our Next Event

Data For Good Exchange 2016: "Better Governance"
Starts: 8:30 am, September 25, 2016
Ends: 5:30 pm, September 25, 2016
Location: Bloomberg Global Headquarters, 731 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
Description: The data revolution has enabled businesses to provide better service, at a lower cost, and to more customers, at a scale of change not seen since the industrial revolution. While the corporate sector has effectively engaged the academic community in their problems, public and non-profit sectors have seen comparatively less application of data science methods.

Since 2014, Bloomberg has been hosting a yearly conference on applications of data science to problems related to the social good.This forum has enabled participants from academia, industry, government and NGOs to share insights and progress on applying modern machine learning and data science methods to problems in public and non-profit sectors.

On Sunday September 25th 2016, we will reconvene to strengthen our community and further these aims. The overall theme for this year's edition will be "better governance" or how data science can be applied to solve public interest problems.

Emmanuel Letouzé is on the D4GX program committee.


We work through research, training, and engagement activities and launched two new initiatives this fall.


Advancing knowledge and innovation with Big Data


We combine the unique strengths of our founding institutions and partners to analyze the applications and implications of Big Data and development. We develop thought pieces, empirical research papers, and



Building capacities and connections in Big Data


We develop curricula, trainings, and hands-on workshops with local communities, government and elected officials, data and social scientists, and journalists in order to enhance their willingness and ability to shape the Big Data revolution.



Crafting ethical and equitable systems for Big Data


We are involved in policy debates, partnerships, and grassroots advocacy efforts to promote a Big Data revolution that reflects core values of equity and empowerment, enabling people to navigate and transform their own environments.



Encouraging academic collaborations across Big Data themes


We design and support individuals around the world to work together in one of our five thematic areas, animated by our network of Research Affiliates, to produce and share ideas in areas they are most passionate about.



Developing strategies and activities in regional Big Data ecosystems


We convene global networks of key actors and activities into Regional Data Spaces that aim to foster synergies within and between regions in Big Data and development, catalyzing and coordinating efforts to promote a people-centered Big Data revolution.



Mentions of our projects and people.