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

June  2016
  • “Digitising Europe” initiative event with the Vodafone Institute on Big Data and Privacy
    Starts: 4:30 am, June 2, 2016
    Ends: 8:30 am, June 2, 2016
    Location: Casa del Lector. Matadero, Paseo de la Chopera, 14. Madrid, Spain
    Description: In the last decade, society has witnessed a digital revolution that has transformed the way in which we interact, work, learn, and do business. The Big Data Revolution helps us to spot socially valuable insights or unlock new forms of economic value in data. This rapid technology-driven development, however, raises some important political and ethical questions: How can we make full use of data analytics in a responsible and human-centered manner? Which forms of data use should be excluded, and who should set the rules?

    El Pais, the Vodafone Institute and Data-Pop Alliance invite you to join a public discussion on exploring examples and business models for public and private sector collaboration on data. We aim to take a practical look at how companies and governments are forming new kinds of public-private-people data partnerships (or data collaboratives) involving Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), exploring the motion: “Will new public private partnerships in the data revolution promote innovation and collaboration, or foster collusion and surveillance?”

    Details & registration here:
  • SDGs and Data: Driving Development in the Age of Inequalities - Keynote talk by Emmanuel Letouzé at UNDP's Regional Event
    Starts: 3:00 am, June 8, 2016
    Ends: 4:15 am, June 8, 2016
    Location: İstanbul, Turkey
    Description: Data-Pop Alliance's Director Emmanuel Letouzé will be a keynote speaker at UNDP's Regional Event, Data for Development Results. He will speak alongside Mustafa Nayyem, MP Parliament of Ukraine, in a session called 'SDGs and Data: Driving Development in the Age of Inequalities.' This keynote address will be moderated by Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, Istanbul Regional Hub Manager.

    UNDP's event, which takes places from June 8-10, will include panel discussions, lightning talks, and data and design clinics intended to focus on data's possible contributions to a range of practical policy issues. Find out more about the UNDP's Europe and Central Asia Regional Hub here:

  • Seminar: Big Data and Policy
    Starts: 8:00 am, June 10, 2016
    Ends: 10:00 am, June 10, 2016
    Location: University of Turin, Via Giuseppe Verdi, 8, 10124 Torino, Italy
    Description: Data-Pop Alliance's Director Emmanuel Letouzé has been invited to lead a seminar on Big Data and Policy in a course at University of Turin's PhD program in Law, Science and Technology. This course is taught by Dr. Massimo Durante as part of the University's Department of Law.
  • 'How can digital societies contribute to achieving the SDGs for persons with disabilities?'
    Starts: 8:00 am, June 15, 2016
    Ends: 9:30 am, June 15, 2016
    Location: United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY 10017, USA
    Description: This Side Event during the CoSP to CRPD aims to discuss ways in which emerging forms of technologies and data can contribute to Sustainable Development Goals for persons with disabilities. Emmanuel Letouzé, Director of Data-Pop Alliance, will present a research paper that explores the topic along with Maria Martinho of UNDESA/DSPD/SCRPD. The side event will also include presentations of example projects.

    This event is organized by the Institute on Disability and Public Policy at American University, AXSMap, The Nippon Foundation, and Data-Pop Alliance.

    See this link for more information:
  • Data-Pop Alliance Presents two Papers at Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics 2016
    Starts: 10:30 am, June 20, 2016
    Ends: 5:15 pm, June 20, 2016
    Location: World Bank Headquarters, Washington, DC, USA
    Description: Two of Data-Pop Alliance’s papers have been selected for this year's Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics (ABCDE).

    One paper, "The ABCDE of Big Data: Assessing Biases in Call-Detail Records for Development Estimates" will be presented by Emmanuel Letouzé and Gabriel Pestre during Monday morning's session 1B, "Data for Development" in Room MC 7-100. The second paper, "Identifying Crime Hotspots Using Mobile Phone Data: Bogota: a Case Study" will be presented during Monday's afternoon session 2D on "Crime, Civil Wars, and Hotspots" in Room MC 9-100.

    The Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics, organized by the World Bank Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency, is one of the world’s best known series of conferences for the presentation and discussion of new knowledge on development. The conference aims to promote the exchange of cutting-edge research among researchers, policymakers, and development practitioners. The next conference will take place on June 20-21, 2016 at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The theme of the conference will be “Data and Development.”

    An agenda for the event, including presentations over the course of the entire two-day workshop, can be found here:

Our Next Event

Build Peace Conference: Perceptions of Peace Workshop
Starts: 8:00 am, September 9, 2016
Ends: 12:00 pm, September 9, 2016
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Description: This year's Build Peace conference theme is: "How can we use technology, arts and research for peace, towards transformation?" Learn more about Build Peace 2016 here:

On the first day of the conference, Data-Pop Alliance's Emmanuel Letouzé and Andrés Clavijo will conduct a workshop called Perceptions of Peace. The workshop will include presentations on data literacy and data inclusion, data analysis techniques for measuring and monitoring perception, and break out sessions to dive deeper into relevant Big Data methodologies and tools related to perceptions of peace and security. More details about this workshop can be found here:


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.