Name Mobile Phone Metadata and Gender Data
Source UN Foundation
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Description To use call detail records (CDRs) and airtime purchase records to depict spatial and temporal patterns of women’s economic welfare. The information available in Call Detail Records (CDRs) and airtime expense records serve as “digital smoke signals” for the user’s economic welfare.6 Various measures of phone use — big purchases of credit, frequency of use, total expenditure, mobility, directionality of calls, and size and structure of social network — are correlated with socio-economic status.7-9 Anomalies in these patterns can indicate imminent or ongoing crisis.10 A large body of work from both academics and in-house researchers at telecommunications firms has outlined methodologies for making inferences about poverty from these cell phone datasets.7,9,11-16 In combination with machine learning algorithms to disaggregate records by sex (discussed further in the “Needs for Preliminary Research” section below), this project proposes utilizing these methods in order to obtain real-time information on women’s economic welfare.
Long description
Lead Institution UN Foundation
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Partners Various mobile phone operators, Academia, UN Global Pulse
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Type Knowledge
Potential for reuse Low
Open source No
Open Source URL
Data Input Formats
Data Output Formats
Maintenance Requirements
Plug & Play No
Outputs compatible with indicators from Official Statistics No
Status Concept
Country use cases
Target Groups
Statistical Institute
Other Government Agencies
Sectors where the innovation can be applied
  • Gender
  • ,
  • Poverty
  • Areas of technological innovation
  • Log Data
  • ,
  • Visual Analytics
  • Areas of management practice innovations
    Use of Alternative Data Sources
    Areas of institutional process innovations
    Case Study URL with Public Sector Participation
    Case Study Description
    Picture describing Case Study
    Good practices displayed
    Created On 2014-04-12
    Updated On 2014-04-12
    Status Published
    Manage consumers