DataFeed

Colombia

51.3

Population 2021
(Millions)

0.77

HDI Score
2019 (Max. 1)

70.1

SDG Score
2020-2021
(Max. 100)

0.43

Gender Inequality
Index Score
(Max. 1)

48

Internet Inclusivity
Index 2022
(100 countries)

Sources: 1. World Bank (2021), 2. UNDP (2019), 3. Sustainable Development Report (2021), 4. UNDP (2019), 5. Economist Impact (2022).

Overview

Located in northwestern South America and geographically dominated by the Andes Mountains, Colombia is an ethnically diverse country with around 70% of the population in urban areas, which have faced a rise in insecurity and violence. Though recent years have seen improvements, Colombia is known the world over for the violence associated with its drug cartels, in addition to leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups. Additional challenges facing the country include high levels of employment informality and income inequality, as well as regional instability (especially from neighboring Venezuela).

Projects

Open Algorithms (OPAL) for Public Data and Good

  • Colombia, Mexico, Senegal,
  • 2021 - Ongoing
  • P2 - AI and Statistics for the SDGs

“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.

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Professional Training Program “Leveraging Big Data for Sustainable Development”

  • Colombia, Kenya, Senegal, Brazil, Tunisia,
  • 2016 - 2019
  • P2 - AI and Statistics for the SDGs

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.

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

  • Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico,
  • 2016 - 2019
  • P2 - AI and Statistics for the SDGs

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 Cetic.br—, 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.

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Workshop “Big Data for Sustainable Development and Climate Change”

  • Colombia,
  • November 2019
  • P2 - AI and Statistics for the SDGs

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.

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EmpoderaData

  • Mexico, Brazil, Colombia,
  • January - June 2019
  • P2 - AI and Statistics for the SDGs

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).

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Ciudata Segura

  • Colombia,
  • 2017 - 2021
  • P5 - Geographies of Inequalities

Increasingly, data and information are being promoted as a powerful tool to understand and prevent crime and violence. However, there are two key questions that remain largely unanswered: 1) Why is crime clustering in certain neighborhoods? 2) Why do certain individuals turn to crime and not others? Leveraging sophisticated analyzes about urban crime and violence in Latin America and the Caribbean cities, Ciudata Segura analyzed the local determinants of crime and the role of impunity and social networks in driving criminal behavior through the collection and analysis of official and non-official data sources to produce public policy recommendations and action plans. The project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and developed in collaboration with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), Fundazione Bruno Kessler (FBK), the MIT Media Lab and Citizens Crime Commission, began in 2017 and has resulted in close coordination with local governments and stakeholders, in addition to: the creation of roadmaps, data audits, and capability assessments to determine further interventions; and the production of research instrument for analysis, including a series of surveys and the creation of a visualization tool.

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Characterizing and Analyzing Urban Dynamics In Bogota (from the Paper Series: “Big Data to Address Global Development Challenges”)

  • Colombia,
  • June 2017
  • P5 - Geographies of Inequalities

Four research papers were developed in collaboration with and funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) between 2016 and 2019 under a joint program with Data-Pop Alliance and research partners titled “Strengthening the Evidence-Base for Leveraging Big Data to Address Global Development Challenges”. This paper, “Characterizing and Analyzing Urban Dynamics in Bogota”, utilized open data and mobile phone records to identify physical characteristics and socioeconomic conditions in the city which have an impact on the proliferation of crime. The results suggest that urban diversity and natural surveillance theories play an important role in the proliferation of crime, and this knowledge can be exploited in urban planning to prevent crime. Key research partners included Fundazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) and the MIT Media Lab.

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Supporting the Development of Comprehensive and Responsive Social Protection Systems for the Resilience of Vulnerable Households

  • Colombia,
  • March 2022 - May 2023
  • P3 - Resilient Livelihoods and Ecosystems

In partnership with Prosperia (Lead) and with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), this project aims to create both preventive and responsive social protection systems against climate shocks and natural disasters in four Latin American countries: Barbados, Colombia, Honduras and Uruguay. An analysis of pertinent data sources will be conducted, followed by the development of a plan to access these data. Data science models will be built based on a strong methodological approach consisting of five modules: 1) population mapping, 2) analysis of socioeconomic and material vulnerabilities, 3) segmentation of the territories according to their ex-ante risk to climate change shocks and natural disasters, 4) incidence or intensity mapping of the ex-post risk, and 5) development of the preventive and responsive social protection systems.

Big Data to Address Global Development Challenges (Paper Series)

  • Colombia, Mexico, Senegal,
  • 2016 - 2019
  • P3 - Resilient Livelihoods and Ecosystems

Four research papers were developed in collaboration with and funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) between 2016 and 2019 under a joint program with Data-Pop Alliance and research partners (Cloud to Street, Flowminder, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, MIT Media Lab) titled “Strengthening the evidence-base for leveraging Big Data to address global development challenges”. This research program and papers were designed with the following objectives and criteria in mind: to focus on various development challenges in different local contexts in order to ensure relevance; to work with trusted partners, so as to ensure academic quality; and to both reflect and promote key determinants of sustainable development, including smoother, fairer and safer access to data and stronger links between analysts, local decision-makers, and communities. Individually, these papers outlined specific cases and examples of how computational analysis of behavioral data (combined with other datasets) can paint a finer-grained, more complex and dynamic picture of human reality than ‘traditional’ data allows. Collectively, they sketched the contours of a world where public decisions, in the form of policies and programs, may someday be designed, implemented, and evaluated using the best available data and approaches.

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National Big Data Strategy for Colombia

  • Colombia,
  • September 2017 - December 2018
  • P1 - Just Digital Transformations

The MIT Media Lab and DPA provided technical assistance to iNNpulsa—Colombia’s entrepreneurship and innovation agencyand to the National Planning Department (DNP), in the design and development of the country’s first national Big Data strategy, which was presented to the President of Colombia in 2020. After intensive research, DPA produced nine diagnostic documents that were used to identify priority areas and specific actions that would generate the necessary synergies to achieve 4 strategic objectives of the project: 1) strengthen the Big Data ecosystem in the country, 2) develop analytical capabilities for greater and better use of data, 3) foster the digital economy, and 4) promote the adoption of Big Data solutions and AI for public administration. In that sense, an implementation proposal and two pilot projects in Colombia were completed, along with an impact evaluation and two training workshops.

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Support to the Inter-American Development Bank in the Identification of Technological and Big Data Tools for Current, Ongoing, and New IDB Projects

  • Bolivia, Colombia, Peru,
  • November 2018
  • P1 - Just Digital Transformations

This project aimed to support the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) in the preparation of the IDB Andean Summit event (November 29, 2018) in Quito, Ecuador. A study was generated identifying new Big Data tools that are being developed and/or used by academic institutions, international organizations, public or private sector that would concretely benefit current and future IDB projects. Based on DPA’s experience, the consultancy’s goal was to contribute to the IDB’s knowledge, identification and capabilities on available technological tools that provide observable material improvements at different stages of current or future projects. The study was based on IDB projects in 5 countries in the region.

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Reporting and Registering Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls in Mexico City, Bogota and Sao Paulo: A Data-Driven Model

  • Brazil, Colombia, Mexico,
  • June 2020 - February 2021
  • P4 - Data Feminism

This project, developed with support from UNIDAS and GIZ Data Lab, leveraged traditional and non-traditional data sources to assess the reporting capability of women and girls in Mexico City, Bogota and Sao Paulo. The analytical model estimated the probability of registering domestic violence at the locality or municipal level, taking into account personal (e.g. age, educational attainment) and environmental factors (e.g. access to support services, human mobility during the COVID-19 quarantine). The report for Mexico is not available.

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