Overview and Outlook 2021-2023

May 30 2022

Even for the most optimistic, any hopes that 2021 and the first half of 2022 would constitute a decisive upward inflection from recent and old trends should, by now, unfortunately have been put to rest. The past year has been generally more of the same, or worse, as pre-existing fissures and excesses have continued to be exposed and often exacerbated: … Read More

Assessing the Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture, Food Security, Livelihood and Food Systems in Liberia

Apr 18 2022

This study carried out by Data-Pop Alliance with guidance from the Food and Agriculture Organization in Liberia and with support from the European Union (EU), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Liberia, provides evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture, food security, livelihoods, and food systems in Liberia. By combining the insights emerging from the … Read More

Reporting and Registering Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls in São Paulo and Bogotá: A Data-Driven Model (English, Spanish)

Nov 19 2021

Most Gender-Based Violence (GBV) goes underreported. Women who decide not to report incidents of domestic violence, or are unable to do so (via calls, legal complaints, or seeking institutional help), may end up without access to support or legal services. Subsequently, available data on this phenomenon can and should be leveraged to combat VAWG. This project aims to contribute to … Read More

Policy Paper: Using Data to Fight COVID-19 – And Build Back Better

Nov 11 2020

The policy paper looks at how digital technologies and data have been applied to fight the Coronavirus. The paper summarizes main debates and questions around these initiatives to reflect on their usefulness, implications, limitations, risks and their requirements. Furthermore, it explores how the learnings of the first wave of the pandemic could provide an opportunity to use data more efficiently … Read More

Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea

Jan 21 2021

This publication compiles extensive work focused on understanding the effects of COVID-19 in Equatorial Guinea and coordinating a response based on 5 pillars: i) putting health first, ii) protecting people through social protection and basic services, iii) promoting social cohesion and community resilience, iv) supporting the macroeconomic response and multilateral collaboration. All with the objective of advancing towards the Sustainable … Read More

Big Data for Good. Can Big Data Illustrate the Challenges Facing Syrian Refugees in Lebanon?

Dec 01 2020

Timely evidence for policymaking has been a consistent objective for UN organizations and member states. The classical data sources needed for official statistics have been expensive, time consuming, leading to delayed outcomes, and in certain cases impossible to access (e.g. images, videos). Today’s connected world offers alternatives and supplementary non-traditional data sources enabled by Information and Communication Technology (Geographic Information … Read More

Mundos paralelos: Big Data y desigualdad en la Ciudad de México

Aug 31 2020

“Mundos paralelos” es un proyecto desarrollado por Data-Pop Alliance y Oxfam México, cuyo propósito es analizar la desigualdad en la Ciudad de México, utilizando datos de movilidad proporcionados por el programa Data for Good de Cuebiq. Se tomó como estudio de caso la forma en cómo dos sectores socioeconómicos opuestos (los “mundos paralelos”) se apropian de los espacios que conforman la urbe y la posibilidad … Read More

Estrategia de Big Data para Colombia – Documentos de diagnóstico

Nov 12 2020

Documento 1: Estado del arte y análisis comparativo de estrategias nacionales de Big Data Document 1: State of affairs and comparative analysis of national Big Data Strategies This study provides an analysis of the main characteristics of the existing government strategies related to Big Data, while clarifying the operational concept of Big Data used throughout this project. Documento 2: Buenas prácticas sobre … Read More

The ABCDE of Big Data: Assessing Biases in Call-Detail Records for Development Estimates

Sep 04 2020

CDRs (Call Detail Records) represent an important and largely untapped source of data for the developing world. However, they are not representative of the underlying population. We combine CDRs and census data for Senegal in 2013 to evaluate biases related to estimates of population density. We show that: (i) there are systematic relationships between cell-phone use and socio-economic and geographic … Read More

Overview and Outlook: 2019-2020

Oct 26 2020

Data-Pop Alliance was born 7 years ago out of the recognition that the defining element of the 21st century would be data. Since, phrases such as ”Big Data” and “Data Revolution” have been largely replaced by “Fourth Industrial Revolution” and “Artificial Intelligence”, but the key question remain essentially the same: how can data-infused systems and societies be shaped to foster … Read More

Women in the gig economy: Paid work, care and flexibility in Kenya and South Africa

Sep 14 2020

This report presents findings from an in-depth study of women’s engagement in the gig economy in Kenya and South Africa, two middle-income countries at the forefront of developments in digitally mediated work in sub-Saharan Africa. It aims to understand the impact of this engagement on workers’ lives, considering the quality of work on offer and its implications for workers’ management … Read More

EmpoderaData: Data literacy assessment and Sustainable Development Goals data gaps

Sep 14 2020

EmpoderaData builds upon the success of the Q-Step paid internship programme from the University of Manchester. The project aims to promote a virtuous cycle of social transformation by fostering data literacy. The purpose of this report is threefold: (1) understand the unmet needs in terms of data literacy skills, (2) recognize to what extent might a data literacy capacity building … Read More

Big Data para o bem comum

Sep 14 2020

Desde o início do século XX, a maioria de nossas ações e interações tem sido mediada e capturada por dispositivos eletrônicos. Os rastros de dados deixados pelo caminho resultam no que foi batizado de big data. Embora a exploração do big data tenha sido desenvolvida por gigantes da internet, que transformaram a mineração dessas migalhas digitais em uma de suas … Read More

Harnessing Innovative Data and Technology to Measure Development Effectiveness

Sep 16 2020

In this study, the authors discuss and show how new kinds of digital data and analytics methods and tools falling under the umbrella term of Big Data, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems, can help measure development effectiveness. Selected case studies provide examples of assessments of the effectiveness of ODA-funded policies and programmes.

Evaluación de nuevas herramientas y técnicas del big data para proyectos del Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo

Sep 16 2020

El presente estudio identifica herramientas innovadoras de Big Data a partir de casos de estudios basados en cinco proyectos en vía de implementación por el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) en los países de la Comunidad Andina (CAN) con el fin de que nuevas tecnologías puedan ser aprovechadas e implementadas en estos u otros proyectos de inversión de la región. … Read More

Book “Guide to Mobile Data Analytics in Refugee Scenarios”

Sep 16 2020

This book summarizes the most important findings of the Data for Refugees (D4R) Challenge, which was a non-profit project initiated to improve the conditions of the Syrian refugees in Turkey by providing a database for the scientific community to enable research on urgent problems concerning refugees. The database, based on anonymized mobile call detail records (CDRs) of phone calls and … Read More

Retrouver le sens de la mesure pour de meilleures décisions collectives: vers une intelligence artificielle humaine à l’ère des données (p. 47 à 55)

Sep 16 2020

Les données personnelles et institutionnelles récoltées de plus en plus massivement à l’échelle mondiale ouvrent la voie à de nouvelles façons de penser la prise de décision collective. Cet article présente les conditions d’un traitement de ces données tourné vers le développement humain, au travers du concept d’Intelligence Artificielle Humaine (IAH). Nous présentons à cet égard un exemple de projet … Read More

On the privacy conscientious use of mobile phone data

Sep 16 2020

The breadcrumbs we leave behind when using our mobile phones—who somebody calls, for how long, and from where—contain unprecedented insights about us and our societies. Researchers have compared the recent availability of large-scale behavioral datasets, such as the ones generated by mobile phones, to the invention of the microscope, giving rise to the new field of computational social science.

Data for Refugees: The D4R Challenge on Mobility of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Sep 16 2020

The Data for Refugees (D4R) Challenge is a non-profit challenge initiated to improve the conditions of the Syrian refugees in Turkey by providing a special database to scientific community for enabling research on urgent problems concerning refugees, including health, education, unemployment, safety, and social integration. The collected database is based on anonymised mobile Call Detail Record (CDR) of phone calls … Read More

Panorama setorial da Internet. Big Data e desenvolvimento: uma visão geral”

Sep 14 2020

Apesar do entusiasmo existente em torno do “Big Data para o desenvolvimento” – ex- pressão que abrange o campo de pesquisa e prática sobre as aplicações e implicações do Big Data para a elaboração de políticas e para o desenvolvimento – o seu uso ainda é muito incipiente em termos intelectual e operacional. Seria ele o “novo petróleo” que poderá … Read More

How to use Big Data? Leading experts’ roadmap to data-driven innovation projects

Sep 16 2020

This position paper 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, … Read More

Understanding Patterns of Human Mobility At Different Timescales

Sep 16 2020

The main objective of this paper is to discuss whether and how the future of algorithms can be crafted such that their development and deployment—from their design to their use, including control, evaluation, auditing, governance—be based on and foster core democratic values such as accountability, transparency, participation, and collaboration. In doing so, we will focus on algorithms affecting public life … Read More

Algorithmic accountability – Applying the concept to different country contexts

Sep 16 2020

Drawing from interviews with global experts, topic workshops and content research, this scoping paper aims to provide the reader with an understanding of algorithmic decision-making processes and the challenges they pose to our existing understanding of accountability across different contexts. It offers a map of existing technical and governance mechanisms for both identifying and addressing algorithmic harms and bias, as … Read More

Understanding the Relationship Between Short and Long Term Mobility

Sep 16 2020

Populations are highly mobile, both in terms of long term movements of individuals relocating their place of residence as well as shorter term mobility such as commuting, seasonal travel and recreational trips. Working with call detail record data from Namibia and Senegal, we study population migration and its link to short term movement. We compare the short term mobility estimates extracted … Read More

Characterizing and analyzing urban dynamics in Bogota

Sep 16 2020

Using open data and mobile phone records, we explore this link with a spatial regression model that analyzes the environmental and the social conditions to which each part of the city is exposed. We found that physical characteristics of the city connected to higher urban diversity better explain the emergence of crime than traditional socio-economic conditions and, together, physical characteristics … Read More

Big Data – Predicting and preventing climate-related shocks

Sep 16 2020

Big Data as a socio-technological phenomenon has the potential to generate new insights on the functioning and interaction of human and natural ecosystems. In particular, Big Data can improve our understanding of how societies deal with shocks related to climate change, and inform policies and actions to foster adaptive mechanisms. However, such positive effects will not occur automatically and investments … Read More

Fair, Transparent and Accountable Algorithmic Decision-making Processes

Sep 14 2020

The combination of increased availability of large amounts of fine-grained human behavioral data and advances in machine learning is presiding over a growing reliance on algorithms to address complex societal problems. Algorithmic decision-making processes might lead to more objective and thus potentially fairer decisions than those made by humans who may be influenced by greed, prejudice, fatigue, or hunger. However, … Read More

Socio-Physical Vulnerability to Flooding in Senegal

Sep 16 2020

Each year thousands of people and millions of dollars in assets are affected by flooding in Senegal; over the next decade, the frequency of such extreme events is expected to increase.  However, no publicly available digital flood maps, except for a few aerial photos or post – disaster assessments from UNOSAT, could be found for the country. This report tested … Read More

Mining Case Law to Improve Countries’ Accountability To Universal Periodic Review

Sep 16 2020

The United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process established by the Human Rights Council aiming to monitor and improve the human rights situation in each UN member state. In this study, we hypothesize that leveraging text mining and machine-learning algorithms is a viable strategy for monitoring gender discrimination in sentencing practices of Fiji’s judiciary system, which has … Read More

Leveraging Algorithms for Positive Disruption: On data, democracy, society and statistics

Sep 16 2020

The main objective of this paper is to discuss whether and how the future of algorithms can be crafted such that their development and deployment—from their design to their use, including control, evaluation, auditing, governance—be based on and foster core democratic values such as accountability, transparency, participation, and collaboration. In doing so, we will focus on algorithms affecting public life … Read More

The Tyranny of Data? The Bright and Dark Sides of Data-Driven Decision-Making for Social Good

Sep 16 2020

We focus our attention on social good decision-making algorithms, that is algorithms strongly influencing decision-making and resource optimization of public goods, such as public health, safety, access to finance and fair employment. Through an analysis of specific use cases and approaches, we highlight both the positive opportunities and the potential negative consequences that practitioners should be aware of and address … Read More

Oportunidades y requerimientos para aprovechar el uso de Big Data para las estadísticas oficiales y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible en América Latina

Sep 16 2020

Este documento se realizó en el marco de un proyecto apoyado por el Banco Mundial e implementado por Data-Pop Alliance en asociación con el Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística de Colombia – DANE. Data-Pop Alliance es una coalición sobre Big Data y el desarrollo creada conjuntamente por la Iniciativa Humanitaria de Harvard, el MIT Media Lab y el Instituto de … Read More

Book chapter – “The Evaluation of Complex Development Interventions in the Age of Big Data

Oct 07 2020

Recognizing that complexity calls for innovative, conceptual, and methodological solutions, this unique book offers practical guidance to policymakers, managers, and evaluation practitioners on how to design and implement complexity-responsive evaluations that can be undertaken in the real world of time, budget, data, and political constraints. Introductory chapters present comprehensive, non-technical overviews of the most common evaluation tools and methodologies, and … Read More

Applications and Implications of Big Data for Demo-Economic Analysis:The Case of Call-Detail Records

Sep 15 2020

This dissertation analyzes and discusses various applications and implications of BigData for demo-economic analysis, focusing on the analysis of cell-phone data collected by telecommunication operators for billing purposes, commonly referred to as call-detail records, or CDRs, which include the time and duration of calls, the location of the emitter and receiver, etc. This is done by placing the resulting opportunities … Read More

Big Data for Climate Change Resilience

Sep 16 2020

This paper (in progress) outlines the Data–Pop Alliance’s ongoing research on Big Data, climate change and environmental resilience. The paper dives deeply into the conceptualization of climate change resilience, both specific and general; addresses Big Data contributions to understanding the components of climate risk; and identifies gaps and challenges to Big Data applications to climate resilience decision-making. Finally, authors offer … Read More

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

Sep 16 2020

As the first event paper in the digitising Europe’s series, this event paper captures the major key themes emerging from our events in Berlin in November 2015. The Berlin workshop and public forum focused on the possibilities and pitfalls
of using Big Data analytics for economic growth and public good. Bringing together German academic institutions, think tanks, businesses and other thought-leaders, … Read More

Correcting for Sample Bias with Application to the Case of Senegal

May 21 2021

This paper sets out to explain modeling and correcting sample bias in Call Detail Records (CDRs). A proper understanding of sample bias is key to producing useful estimates derived from CDRs: such calculations rely heavily on a good understanding of how the sample (cell-phone users) relates to the larger populations it is drawn from. It could have major applications in … Read More

Beyond Data Literacy: Reinventing Community Engagement and Empowerment in the Age of Data

Sep 16 2020

This paper attempts to delineate the broad contours of “data literacy” through analysis of its history, definition, expectations, application, and promotion. The paper thus defines “data literacy” as “the desire and ability to constructively engage in society through and about data” and argues that promotion of “data literacy” should be via and for social inclusion.

Big Data for Climate Change and Disaster Resilience: Realising the Benefits for Developing Countries

Sep 16 2020

This paper valuates the opportunities, challenges and required steps for leveraging the new ecosystem of Big Data to monitor and detect hazards, mitigate their effects, and assist in relief efforts as poor communities become more vulnerable to natural hazards. There have been increasing calls to make disaster risk reduction a core development concern and to build resilience so that vulnerable communities … Read More

Moves on the Street: Classifying Crime Hotspots Using Aggregated Anonymized Data on People Dynamics

Sep 16 2020

This paper highlights the potential societal benefits derived from big data applications with a focus on citizen safety and crime prevention. Authors detail a case study tackling the problem of crime hotspot classification, that is, the classification of which areas in a city are more likely to witness crimes based on past data. In the proposed approach demographic information is … Read More

Group Privacy in the Age of Big Data

Sep 16 2020

This paper attempts to define what is a group and what is privacy in order to determine how a privacy right might attach to groups distinctly from the individual privacy rights of its members, and what might be the content of such a group privacy right. The challenge faced by group privacy is to enable the positive uses of Big … Read More

Big Data and Development: An Overview

Sep 15 2020

This paper describes the fundamental nature of Big Data as an ecosystem and how it engages with society. Although Big Data has promising applications to real-world problems, it is met with warnings and risks–the most severe being risk to individual privacy, identity and security. In response to these challenges and risks, the paper explores the future of Big Data and … Read More

The Law, Politics and Ethics of Cell Phone Data Analytics

Sep 15 2020

This paper examines Call Detail Records (CDRs) and their expanding role in providing insight into human behavior, movements, and social interactions. As a result of their growing application, certain ethical and legal questions need to be addressed. The paper summarizes current legal frameworks, explores structural socio-political parameters and incentives structuring the sharing of CDRs, proposes guiding ethical principles and discusses … Read More

Quantifying the Data Deluge and the Data Drought

Sep 15 2020

This paper investigates how the world’s Big Data capacity can be understood in terms of the world’s storage capacity and the telecommunication capacity to access this storage (‘the cloud’). This paper follows the methodology of what has become the standard reference in estimating the world’s technological information capacity: Hilbert and López (2011).

Official Statistics, Big Data, and Human Development

Sep 15 2020

This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing and future debate about the relationships between Big Data, official statistics and development. This paper argues that Big Data needs to be seen as an entirely new ecosystem comprising new data, new tools and methods, and new actors motivated by their own incentives. The emergence of this new ecosystem provides both a … Read More

Big Data & SDGs note for Global Sustainable Development Report

Sep 15 2020

This paper focuses on the intersection of Big Data and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the spectrum of ways and channels through which Big Data as an entirely new ecosystem could impact—contribute to or hamper—human progress as called for and measured by the SDGs. Applications of Big Data to SDGs have the potential to advocate for causes, shape incentives and … Read More

AFD Paper – “CDRs & Poverty and Population Analysis – Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal”

Sep 16 2020

This paper considers Big Data’s potential to partly fill some key data gaps and complement or even replace official statistics. Data-Pop Alliance offers the specific case of Côte d’Ivoire, using Call Records (CDRs) from Orange in conjunction with two other datasets, the WorldPop dataset, which provides population data derived from satellite imagery, and the recently released 2013 Demographic and Health … Read More

Big Data and Mobility: Migration and Transportation

Oct 22 2020

This paper (in progress) discusses the linkages between Big Data and mobility—specifically migration and transportation. Its main objective is to give its readers—World Bank staff, policymakers, researchers, development project managers and other professionals—an overview of the main features and parameters of this nexus, as well as provide examples and discuss key considerations—technical, ethical, institutional, etc.—for developing projects, programs and other … Read More