Tag Archives: ict4d

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 […]

what’s next

Tomorrow I am starting a new job at the University of Amsterdam as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow in Development Studies. I’ll be continuing and expanding the line of research that I’ve become most interested in during my work at the Oxford Internet Institute, looking at the role of big data in Development. I use […]

the big squeeze: why the mobile internet isn’t enough

How is the web going to shape knowledge amongst the world’s poorest people? Perhaps through services offered by mobile providers such as Airtel, which announced yesterday that Wikipedia will be available via SMS to Kenyan mobile phone subscribers. This is an important step forward: Kenya has been a leader in channelling services and applications through […]

Surveil the rich, observe the poor: big data at the Internet Governance Forum 2013

This year’s IGF was, unsurprisingly, permeated by the issue of surveillance. Almost every discussion landed on it sooner or later, led partly by the Forum’s headlining of issues of cybersecurity and online freedom.  This led to the use of the term ‘big data’ almost exclusively to mean personal data, and to denote a particular kind […]

The scramble for Africa’s data: resource grab or development opportunity?

After the last decade’s exponential rise in ICT use, Africa is fast becoming a source of big data. Africans are increasingly emitting digital information with their mobile phone calls, internet use and various forms of digitised transactions, while on a state level e-government starts to become a reality. African data, however, is not only valuable […]

Where do developers belong in development?

If you’re someone with data analysis skills and a yearning to solve poverty/malaria/the mystery of bee mortality, now’s your time. There are numerous ‘big data’ initiatives emerging to connect development initiatives with people who can code, including programs based around GIS, mobile phone data, crowdsourced crisis reporting and microfinance, to name but a few. But […]

how the bumblebee flies

As I continue my survey of internet cafes here in Accra, one question keeps recurring. How can these small businesses survive, let along turn a profit? 15 so far in Kokomlemle and 11 in Adabraka, the two areas of Accra I am focusing on, and barely one is making its owner a living. Yet they […]