Over the last few days I had the opportunity to present our thoughts on leveraging big data for development at two different venues in Ottawa, Canada.
The first was at the headquarters of Global Affairs Canada on 11th March 2016, where I along with the head of UN Global Pulse spoke to an audience of about 100 people that included staff from Global Affairs and IDRC, as well as Canadian academics and researchers. The slides I used are available HERE. The second opportunity was today (14th March 2016) at the headquarters of IDRC, where I had the opportunity to share some of work with IDRC staff from different developmental domains. The slides that I used are available HERE.
Be it at the formal event at Global Affairs or in the more informal round table at IDRC, one of my key messages was the need for development of in-situ capabilities in the global south. Understanding local context is very important for the work that we do. Furthermore mainstreaming the use of new data sources for development in a country requires deep engagement with the symbolic environment of policy domains. This has been one of the key lessons of our ongoing work in big data for development in Sri Lanka.