With support from the International Development Research Centre of Canada, LIRNEasia and the Center for Internet and Society are today convening a meeting of researchers working on aspects of big data for development in the Global South. The hope is that we will be able to contribute to shaping a research and policy agenda and map out a path for productive collaboration.
A document was prepared as the basis for discussion. Here is an excerpt:
However, it is important that those engaged in policy analysis make the effort to understand what data is available, in what formats and what is being done with it. For example, the mobile networks in developing countries are different from those in developed economies. Given the imperative to keep costs down because revenues per user and minute are considerably lower, operators do not install non-essential network management modules. For example, the ability to geo-locate users is cruder in these networks. Networks that include researchers from both orientations would be a pragmatic solution to the problem of ensuring that policy analysis is conducted on a sound factual basis.
At the end of the discussions, LIRNEasia will incorporate ideas that emerge from the meeting and publish one or more documents.