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Welcome to

Big Data for Development
(BD4D) Network

The Network

Introduction

Big Data for Development (BD4D) Research Network is a Southern-led partnership with the objective of developing policy relevant research on big data for development that is conceptualized and implemented by Southern organizations. The network acts to develop capacity amongst researchers from the Global South, focusing on activities linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to those that address gender related issues. The work encompasses both big data analyses as well as capacity development, while innovating on data partnerships and collaborations with private sector companies and policy makers. The network is supported by a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

 

Network Partners

Who we are and what we are doing

AIMS and LDRI

African Institute for Mathematics Sciences (AIMS) and Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) are leading the African hub of the network in order to bring big data to bear on Africa’s development agenda (i.e. Agenda 2063). AIMS and LDRI will capitalize and align the focus of its work to the African Development Bank’s High Five priorities: 1) Light up and power Africa; 2) Feed Africa; 3) Industrialize Africa; 4) Integrate Africa; and 5) Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa. Against this backdrop, the key objectives for AIMS and LDRI are to: 1) Increase the number of big data scientists on the continent through training and partnerships, 2) Catalyze research on big data in Africa to address policy, infrastructure, funding and human capital gaps, and 3) Provide a platform for practitioners to network, learn and coordinate activities.

 

CEPEI

With an inter-institutional coalition of organizations across the Latin American region and beyond, Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional (CEPEI) is eager to open up and promote a dialogue to discuss practical approaches, guidelines and strategies on how to bring big data into real politics. In collaboration with decision-makers on the ground, CEPEI proposes to: a) Establish a regional community of practice to build capacities and share best practices of big data for sustainable development; b) conduct policy research to generate knowledge on governance (legal), social and economic implication of big data for development; c) design and implement a methodology to catalogue and visualize non-official datasets and their alignment to the SDGs; d) Apply big data analysis for development research linked to specific SDG indicators; and e) disseminate findings and lessons learned with the regional data and statistics community.

 

LIRNEasia

LIRNEasia conducts its own big data analyses in emerging Asia, and engages deeply with policy makers, as well as the private sector that currently possess the majority (if not the only source) of big data of relevance for developmental policy. The goals of LIRNEasia’s big data for development research are to: 1) Analyze and produce insights by combining big data and small data to inform policy across various domains; 2) Deeply engage with policy makers and the symbolic environment of policy domains to be intelligent and informed consumers of big data insights; 3) Catalyze the development of in-situ expertise in developing economies to conduct big data analyses for developmental purposes; 4) Understand the implications of big data and algorithmic decision making in developmental policy; and 5) Develop guidelines for the ethical use of big data so as to catalyze greater access to big data for the purposes of developmental research by reducing the transaction costs of releasing the data.

CIS

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), India, will study BD4D innovations, policy, practices, and discourse with a focus on the research methods involved, offer research and pedagogic support towards thematic and sectoral foci of other hubs of the Network (that are more focused on applied research), and produce research in the field of BD4D. We will facilitate Network-level workshops and research efforts around ethics and human rights implications of BD4D initiatives, and use socio-legal and feminist methodologies to understand BD4D research and implementation initiatives, their governance frameworks, and potential impact. Our work consists of three priority areas: 1) Reactive and sustained research engagement with network members, 2) Conduct and support legal and technical research on ethical and human rights frameworks for BD4D research and intervention initiatives, and 3) Conduct and support feminist studies on BD4D research and intervention practices.

Network Outputs

Reports, Resources,
and Events

Featured Output #1 by AIMS and LDRI

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Featured Output #1 by CEPEI

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Featured Output #1 by LIRNEasia

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Featured Output #1 by CIS

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Featured Output #2 by AIMS and LDRI

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Featured Output #2 by CEPEI

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Featured Output #2 by LIRNEasia

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Featured Output #2 by CIS

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