Burkina Faso


Population (Millions)


HDI Score 2019 (Max. 1)


SDG Index Score 2020-2021 (Max. 100)


Gender Equity Index 2019 (Max. 100)


Internet Inclusivity Index 2022 (Ranking, 100 countries)


A landlocked western African country, Burkina Faso occupies a plateau that is characterized by a savannah which gives way to sparse forests. The country, which was formerly colonized by France (with French remaining the official language), has a religiously and ethnically diverse population. With a largely agricultural economy, the country also faces many important challenges on its path towards further development. Limited natural resources and high poverty are two of the most salient, with 40 percent of the population living below the poverty line. Additionally, threats from violent extremism and climate change, which has disrupted food production, are of pressing concern.


Assessing Representation and Diversity in Movies and Books at Scale (Upcoming in Eureka Platform)

An intrinsic aspect of Eureka’s motivation is to promote and give visibility to local, national and regional content, in particular that of women, people of color and Indigenous people. This effort has a double objective: a) to promote representation and give visibility to voices that are unfortunately still marginalized, and b) to challenge dominant narratives based on content closer to local realities. Given the structural inequalities in both the publishing and cinema industry, we know that by default, people predominantly consume content produced by white men (and do so without realizing it). The first step is to make this systematically visible, so it can be taken into account in people’s choice. To do so, we are designing a “diverse representation notation” to be assigned to every book and movie listed in the platform, specifically in terms of authorship (i.e. female, male, non-binary, trans, other) and content (i.e. percentage of female vs. male dialogues). These notations will be based on how authors self-identify, and will be designed with the ability to become more complex in order to include new categories as needed.



Open Algorithms (OPAL) for Public Data and Good

“Open Algorithm (OPAL) for Public Data and Good” seeks to merge different “privacy enhancing techniques” (PETs), such as federated learning, differential privacy, and negative databases, to allow trusted third parties such as researchers or official institutions to analyze censuses or national surveys’ microdata produced by national statistical offices (NSOs), as well as other administrative records, to derive indicators using these data, while avoiding privacy risks. A pilot is expected to be conducted in Mexico, and DPA plans to expand to additional NSOs and other public data holders in the future.

Professional Training Program “Leveraging Big Data for Sustainable Development”

Carried on in partnership with United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC), this series of courses aimed to help practitioners and policy-makers to develop and implement Big Data innovation projects, policies, and partnerships in support of sustainable development objectives. The content was structured into three main modules: contexts and concepts; methods and tools; and strategy and conception / ethics and engagement. The workshops were delivered in Cambridge at MIT (June 2016), Bogotá (December 2016), Nairobi (June 2017), Dakar (March 2018), Bangkok (March 2018), and the MIT Media Lab (October 2018). The same workshop was also conducted in Tunisia (April 2019) with support from UN Tunisie.

Professional Training Program “Big Data for Measuring the Digital Economy”

In partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), DPA offered a series of workshops particularly focused on Big Data and the Digital Economy in the Latin American and the Caribbean region designed for development practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. Five editions were delivered in: Santiago de Chile (March 2016), São Paulo (September 2017) —in partnership with—, Mexico City (October 2017) —in collaboration with the National Digital Strategy (EDN) program and the MIT Sloan School of Management—, Santo Domingo (April 2019), and Bogotá (May 2019) —in partnership with DANE.

Workshop “Big Data for Sustainable Development and Climate Change”

This series of workshops organized by Data-Pop Alliance, in coordination with GIZ and GIZ Colombia, addressed key terms, necessary tools and challenges in the Big Data and sustainable development landscape, focusing on the applicability of these information sources in projects related to climate change adaptation and mitigation. This in-person workshop provided an introduction to the “3 C’s of Big Data” as a basis for the development of a Project Lab, so that participants could introduce new sources of information in the development of climate change projects.

Workshop on Survey Methodology with CETIC & NIC

Data-Pop Alliance offered training 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 2019 edition included a session by DPA Director and Co-Founder Emmanuel Letouzé titled “Data for Public Statistics: Data Science, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence”, click below to explore it.

Workshop “Using Machine Learning with Satellite Imagery for the Measurement of a Sustainable Development Goal Indicator”

This two-day online workshop with government officials from the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) in Peru and other public agencies sought to strengthen institutional capacities for the improvement of the national statistical system, particularly by leveraging non-traditional sources of data in administrative reports to measure different indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.


EmpoderaData builds upon the success of the “Quantitative Step” (Q-Step) program, which was developed as a strategic response to the shortage of quantitatively-skilled social science graduates in the United Kingdom. Together, University of Manchester and Data-Pop Alliance expanded upon the program’s excellent results, exploring this model in the Global South as the “EmpoderaData Project”. The project aimed 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).

Technical Assistance to UNDP Togo’s Open and Big Data Activities and Plans

Data-Pop Alliance (DPA) offered to provide technical assistance to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Togo Country Office (CO) to support its efforts to leverage open and Big Data for the country’s development, including Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) monitoring and promotion. The consultancy aimed at contributing to advancing the state of knowledge, know-how, awareness and capacities to harness the potential of Open Data and Big Data in Togo. In particular, UNDP CO’s ability to contribute to the recognition that data ought to matter; that the access and analysis of personal data must not be done at the expense of people’s privacy, safety and agency; that without a significant upgrade in local awareness and capacities, the “Data Revolution” may fail or simply reinforce existing power dynamics and inequities; that algorithms determining or informing an increasing number of public decisions must be open, fair, transparent; that the most impactful and lasting way to bring about change is to build capacities and connections locally, through pilot projects, experimentations, dialogues, capacity building and awareness raising etc., and according to strategies informed by a sound understanding of the local context. 

Leave No One Behind Assessments

“Leaving no one behind (LNOB)” is the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that aims to tackle rising inequality of opportunity (access to key dimensions necessary for decent quality of life), combat discrimination, and ensure inclusive growth. The role of disaggregated and granular data is key to design programs and policies fostering inclusive growth. DPA-led intersectional LNOB assessments focus on understanding and identifying the exclusion and discrimination factors and mechanisms through 1) mapping and quantifying structural drivers of exclusion, 2) identifying the most vulnerable populations and groups in a given context, 3) presenting data and evidence-driven recommendations to tackle the root causes of exclusion, inequality and discrimination.

Eureka: A Social Media Platform for Social Change

Eureka is the first book-film club for social change. We are a non-for-profit and non-data extractive social media platform designed for users to find books and films on a particular topic, discuss it with a community and ultimately, inspire engagement and action towards social change. Our goal is to use culture content as an excuse to promote deep dialogue. Our strategy is to prompt “Eureka moments”, which we define as individual revelations that can impact or transform the collective. Eureka’s one-of-a-kind feature is the “thematic cycles”, designed to leverage the vast potential of books and films to trigger deep and transformational thinking, and to build community. The project received seed support from the Mozilla Foundation.

Policy Paper “Sharing is Caring: Four Key Requirements for Sustainable Private Data Sharing and Use for Public Good”

How data are shared and used will determine, to a large extent, the future of democracy and human progress. In this context, the authors of the paper “Sharing is Caring” describe four key requirements that must inform European efforts to ensure that private data are shared and used for the public good in a safe, ethical, and sustainable manner. This paper, co-published with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, is part of the “Digitising Europe” initiative and part of a series of discussion papers that are focussed on the challenges of European digital policy.

Position Paper “How to Use Big Data? Leading Experts’ Roadmap to Data-Driven Innovation Projects. Key Results from the Digitasing Europe Initiative”

This paper, developed in cooperation with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications, highlights overall takeaways and recommendations in the areas of privacy protection, responsible data governance, transparency and accountability for unleashing big data-driven innovation, including: (1) putting ‘privacy by design’ into action: privacy-preserving technical procedures and standards for data sharing and use; (2) focusing on responsibility in data use: establishing internal responsible data governance standards and (3) keeping transparency, trust, and user control at the center: engaging all data stakeholders.

Event Paper: “Big Data and Privacy: Understanding the Possibilities and Pitfalls of the Data Revolution in Germany”

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? As the first event paper in the “Digitising Europe” series (published with the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications), this publication captures the major key themes emerging from the initiative’s events in Berlin in November 2015, which explored the possibilities and pitfalls around the data revolution and served to identify key insights and practical solutions for facilitating the use of data while protecting the privacy of citizens.

White Paper “The Law, Politics and Ethics of Cell Phone Data Analytics”

This white paper, developed in partnership and with funding from The World Bank, examines Call Detail Records (CDRs) and their expanding role in providing insight into human behavior, movements, and social interaction. After providing additional contextual elements (Part 1), the paper summarizes current legal frameworks (Part 2), before exploring structural socio-political parameters and incentives structuring the sharing of CDRs (Part 3), proposing guiding ethical principles (Part 4) and discussing operational options and requirements (Part 5).

Workshop “Web Data Collection and Analysis”

In November 2019, Data-Pop Alliance, in partnership with ECLAC and IBGE, conducted its first technical workshop in Rio de Janeiro, tailored specifically to the needs of the staff at the Brazilian National Statistical Office (IBGE). The goal was to help them to build and strengthen internal capacities to leverage web data collection and analysis in their projects. ​The workshop emerged as part of the broader training program carried out with ECLAC in the Latin America and Caribbean region: “Big Data for Measuring the Digital Economy”.

Data Collection and Analysis for the “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development Global Report 2021-2022”

DPA worked alongside UNESCO to develop an analytical methodology and data partnerships to monitor and understand the status of press freedom and media development worldwide. DPA collected and analyzed over 150 data sources to produce comprehensive, data-driven evidence on global and regional trends in media freedom, media pluralism, media independence, and safety of journalists, all examined through a gender-sensitive perspective. The results were incorporated into UNESCO’s flagship publication “World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development Global Report 2021-2022”.

Using Misinformation as a Political Weapon: COVID-19 and Bolsonaro in Brazil

With over 30,000 confirmed cases, Brazil is currently the country most affected by COVID-19 in Latin America, and ranked 12th worldwide. Despite all evidence, a strong rhetoric undermining risks associated to COVID-19 has been endorsed at the highest levels of the Brazilian government, making President Jair Bolsonaro the leader of the “coronavirus-denial movement”. To support this strategy, different forms of misinformation and disinformation have been leveraged to lead a dangerous crusade against scientific and evidence-based recommendations. The article was published by the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review.

Networks’ Capitalism: Addiction, Disinformation and Violence (Thematic Cycle)

This Thematic Cycle, a joint effort between Eureka and DPA, focused on addiction, disinformation, and violence stemming from social media in the context of Latin America. The Cycle featured two documentaries, a fiction movie, and a book related to the topic that addressed questions such as, Does monetization imply addition? How is social media used to spread hatred and violence? What is surveillance capitalism, and how does it relate to the business model of Internet platforms? The Cycle concluded with a panel discussion led by Paula Villarreal (Data Scientist & Full Stack Engineer), Matías González (Observatorio Legislativo del CELE), and Julie Ricard (Eureka Founder), and moderated by Ivette Yáñez (DPA).

Data for Refugees (D4R) Challenge in Turkey

For this challenge, Türk Telkom (the country’s leading telecommunication operator) in collaboration with Boğaziçi University, TÜBİTAK (Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Council), the MIT Media Lab, FBK, IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, and Data-Pop Alliance, made several anonymized datasets of mobile phone users available to international research teams in order to develop projects to analyze and improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, with a specific focus on safety, health, education, unemployment and integration. Two publications resulted from this project, the article “Data for Refugees: The D4R Challenge on Mobility of Syrian Refugees in Turkey”, and a chapter of the book “Guide to Mobile Data Analytics in Refugee Scenarios”.

Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 and the Role of Disaster Risk Governance in the Western Sahel and Lake Chad Basin

  • Burkina Faso ,Niger ,Senegal ,
  • December 2020 - December 2021
  • P3 - Resilient Livelihoods and Ecosystems

In partnership with the UNDP Regional Office and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), DPA and ADE conducted assessments of the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 and the role of disaster risk governance (DRG) in seven countries of the Western Sahel and Lake Chad Basin (Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal). The study analyzed the impacts of the pandemic on macroeconomic health, human development, political governance, peace, and social cohesion, as well as the role of DRG institutions at the regional and national levels. The assessment utilized mixed methods with qualitative and quantitative data collection to produce seven country-level analyses, a regional comparative study, and a policy brief.

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Landscape Mapping and Review of Technology-based Interventions to Mitigate Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

  • Bangladesh ,Burkina Faso ,Egypt ,Kenya ,Sierra Leone ,South Sudan ,Uganda ,
  • July 2022- January 2023
  • P4 - Data Feminism

DPA, in collaboration with UNICEF and UNFPA, conducted a comprehensive landscape mapping of key technology-based interventions to mitigate child-marriage and FGM through empowerment of girls and to review the digital solutions and tools used in these interventions, their effectiveness and potential areas for improvement in 13 countries in Africa and Asia. The methodology proposed by DPA was based on an analysis that integrated both quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as traditional and non-traditional data sources collected at different stages of the study, underpinned by a participatory approach involving UNICEF, UNFPA and other stakeholders that provided feedback and input throughout the entire project.

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