Our work in


Data-Pop Alliance has developed and implemented several projects in Brazil to address the issue of data literacy, and is expanding its work to other realms of research and policy in the future.  Find out more about our projects in the country below.

AI for mapping poverty hotspots

Socioeconomic Mapping at scale through Satellite Imagery and Artificial Intelligence

“Better data” is considered a key element to foster evidence-based policy, including targeting of social programs. One of the greatest challenges for inclusion in social programs throughout the country remains the “busca ativa” (active search) of potential beneficiaries, in particular those most marginalized. 

The objective of this project is to produce a pilot data product, leveraging Prosperia Lab’s technology for building high-resolution socioeconomic maps of large urban areas, based on high-resolution satellite imagery and artificial intelligence methods. In particular, the project aims at mapping extreme-poverty at low cost and throughout Brazil’s metropolitan areas. These maps in turn can constitute critical information for improving decisions of public institutions regarding where to deploy their social workers on the field, and ultimately reach the most marginalized populations. This proactive outreach is called “busca ativa”, and is considered one of the cornerstones of targeted social policies towards the end poverty (SDG 1). 

This project is co-led with Prosperia Labs, with funding from the MIT Sloan Office for Latin America.


Our initiative with the University of Manchester

EmpoderaData, from the Portuguese word empoderar for to empower, builds upon the success of the Q-Step program. Q-Step, for Quantitative Step, was developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates in the United Kingdom. Together with the University of Manchester (UoM), we are expanding upon the program’s excellent results, exploring this model in the Global South as the “EmpoderaData Project”. This initiative aims to promote a virtuous cycle of social transformation by fostering data literacy skills applied to addressing our society’s most pressing issues in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To kick-off this initiative, DPA, UoM, and Fundação Getulio Vargas EAESP (FGV) jointly organized a workshop on Data Literacy and SDGs in Latin America. The workshop followed an open seminar on “Big Data for Social Good” which gathered over 80 participants from different sectors and discussed ongoing initiatives leveraging ‘big data’ for research and public policy in Brazil and Latin America at large. As a result of the workshop, a community of practice has been formed and participants have been invited to private working groups on Slack.  Read an article about this event in Folha de São Paulo here, or learn more about the EmpoderaData event here.

Read the resulting report “EmpoderaData: Data Literacy Assessment and Sustainable Development Goalshere.

Capacity Building​


On November 2019, Data-Pop Alliance, ECLAC and IBGE conducted the first technical workshop in Rio de Janeiro. This was the first time that Data-Pop Alliance organized a three-day training tailored particularly for the needs of the staff at the Brazilian National Statistical Office (IBGE). The goal was helping them to build and strengthen internal capacities to leverage web data collection and analysis in their projects. Learn more about this event here.


Data-Pop Alliance has offered trainings in São Paulo with the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (CETIC) and the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC) annually from 2016 through 2019. The most recent edition included a session by Emmanuel Letouzé titled “Data for public statistics: Data Science, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence” in May 2019. View the prese​ntation here.

Big Data, Digital Economy, and Sustainable Development

In September 2017, Data-Pop Alliance conducted a training in conjunction with the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in São Paulo. Over three days the more than 40 participants learned to develop and implement Big Data innovation projects, policies, and partnerships in support of sustainable development objectives. Learn more about this event here.

More information on our capacity building workshops can be found here