Tag Archives: development

Boiling whales and burning forests: If data is the new oil, what’s our alternative energy plan?

Several times over the last year, researchers have written about the notion of data justice (Heeks and Renken here, Johnson here, and Dencik, Hintz and Cable here). They use this terminology to bring together important concerns about the way that data, and big data in particular, are affecting society, politics and development. These authors all […]

Group Privacy: the next generation of privacy problems

Data protection doesn’t engage with the collective level – is it time for change?

Mobile data sharing in emergencies – consent, care and control

The Centre for Internet and Society recently released a groundbreaking paper on the practical, legal and ethical implications of using mobile phone data (CDRs, or Call Detail Records) in emergencies, with Liberia’s experience of the recent Ebola epidemic as the case study. Written by Sean Martin McDonald, the paper is brilliant, insightful and well researched, […]

Smart’s not enough. We need functional.

Accra is in tears today. Last night a heavy rain storm descended on the city, flooding it to a depth of metres in some places. A crowd of people took refuge in a petrol station in the centre of town near Nkrumah Circle, not realising that the tanks below them were overflowing due to the […]

towards a more global data studies

Last week I published a post on the Society and Space blog site, suggesting that its time for researchers – and geographers in particular – to consider and debate in much greater detail the kinds of data that we can use, and how much they can tell us about the world. ‘Big data’ research is the subject […]

Against innovation (mostly)

(This post discusses ideas from a paper that’s currently under review. You can read it here.) Amartya Sen gave a talk today in Amsterdam. For those who don’t know him, he is the originator of the Capability approach to development (where development is measured by people’s capacity to fulfill their potential in things as diverse […]

the small challenge of data governance (and democracy, accountability and altruism)

I’m at a conference in the Hague this week, on Responsible Data for Humanitarian Response, where I’m about to do a session on ‘checks and balances’ in data governance for the humanitarian field. This is an interesting challenge, because currently there aren’t a lot of them either in that field or in relation to developing […]