Welcome to

Big Data for Development
(BD4D) Network

The Network


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


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).



Centro de Pensamiento Estratégico Internacional (CEPEI) is eager to open up and promote a dialogue across the Latin American region, and beyond, to discuss practical approaches, guidelines and strategies on how to bring big data into real politics.



LIRNEasia conducts big data analyses in emerging Asia, and engages deeply with policy makers, as well as private sector that currently possess the majority (if not the only source) of big data of relevance for developmental policy.


The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is studying BD4D innovations, policy, practices, and discourse with a focus on the research methods involved; and offering research and pedagogic support towards other hubs of the Network.

Network Outputs

Reports, Resources,
and Events

Governance of Big Data Development Ecosystems

This document aims to describe the current challenges faced by national governments, and consequently society and the global community, with the increase of information production and the manifold possibilities to use it, disseminate it and regulate it. Governance of Big Data means recognizing the inherent complexity of its development ecosystems and proposing arenas for the articulation of actions pursuing a better use of information and increment benefits from this use to society.

View all outputs by CEPEI


State of the Art of #BigData in Costa Rica to Measure the Sustainable Development Goals

This document makes a general review of the national context regarding the use of big data to measure SDG indicators, first making a contextual recognition of the national data ecosystem and the use of non-traditional sources of data used in Costa Rica.

View all outputs by CEPEI


Predicting population-level socio-economic characteristics using Call Detail Records (CDRs) in Sri Lanka

Prior work has shown that mobile network big data can be used as a high-frequency alternative data source to derive proxy measures that have strong predictive capacity to estimate census and poverty data in developing countries... Our results confirm the applicability of this methodology in a Sri Lankan, post-conflict setting, and highlight potential areas that need to be addressed in order to improve the accuracy of our prediction models.

View all outputs by LIRNEasia


Big Data for Development Network in the UN World Data Forum 2018

The partner organizations of the Big Data for Development Network (BD4D) met in Dubai, within the framework of the UN World Data Forum, to present the progress of the initiative and discuss the potential of South-South cooperation and peer learning to generate better data in the Global South.

View all outputs by CEPEI