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New Primer On Mobile Phone Network Data for Development

Global Pulse
Nov 5, 2013

We are pleased to publish Mobile Phone Network Data for Development, a primer on how analysis of Call Detail Records (CDRs) can provide valuable information for humanitarian and development purposes.

Earlier this year we produced the Global Pulse “Big Data for Development Primer”,  an introductory guide for the global development community, summarizing key terms, concepts, case studies and challenges around big data.

Our new primer, Mobile Phone Network Data for Development, is an accessible synthesis of a growing body of research on mobile phone data analysis in development or humanitarian contexts. For example, de-identified CDRs have allowed researchers to see aggregate geographic trends such as the flow of mass populations during after natural disasters, how malaria can spread via human movement, or the passage of commuters through a city at peak times. 

The document explains three types of indicators that can be extracted through analysis of CDRs (mobility, social interaction and economic activity), includes a synthesis of several research examples and a summary of privacy protection considerations.  

Download a PDF of Mobile Data for Development - A Primer

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