Online Webinar Series

Harnessing mobile phone data in response to COVID-19​

Overview

A series of online webinars targetting National Statistical Offices in Africa and beyond. The focus is on using mobile data to fill information gaps for decision-making to inform COVID-19 response and recovery efforts on the continent.

Target audience: National Statistical Offices in Africa
Number of sessions: 3 modules of 10 total sessions (of 1.5 hours duration)

Date: 17-29 August (everyday)
Time: 10:00-11:30am (EAT)
Platform: Zoom

The COVID-19 crisis represents a unique moment in history, when there has never been greater unity of purpose across stakeholders, greater need for new ways of working, and greater opportunity to advance collective action on the Sustainable Development Goals and our development agenda.

UN Global Pulse invites officers from National Statistical Offices (NSOs) in Africa to join a 10 session webinar series focused on the use of mobile data to inform the current COVID-19 pandemic with regard to immediate response, its socio-economic effects, and efforts to build back better.

This capacity building package focuses on how mobile phone data can fill information gaps for decision making during this COVID19 response and also during the recovery phase. The capacity building package draws facilitators from private sector, academia, development and humanitarian partners. The sessions will be interactive to allow knowledge and experience exchange to feed into the current and future responses to pandemics. In addition, they will also encourage adoption and responsible use of mobile phone data for the acceleration of the achievement of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Examples of the COVID-19 use-cases from around the world will be highlighted and discussed. Issues of data privacy and ethics will be covered throughout the sessions as well as options for data sharing frameworks

This capacity building package draws facilitators from private sector, academia, development and humanitarian partners. The sessions will be interactive to allow knowledge and experience exchange to feed into the current and future responses to pandemics. They will encourage adoption and responsible use of mobile phone data to accelerate achievement of the SDGs. 

Module 1

The first module aims to introduce concepts, frame information use in the current context, review the data pipeline, and discuss how indicators can be generated.

Concepts

Mobile phone data, big data, analytics techniques and tools.

Pipeline

The mobile phone data processing pipeline.

Context

Information gaps and the COVID-19 response in Africa.

Possibilities

Mobility, social and economic indicators.

Module 2

This module will focus on filling the information gaps (interactively identified in Module 1) in the health response to COVID-19 with mobile phone data and additional data sources.

Compliance

Detect when laxity or survival tendency exist

Restrictions

Measure effects of lifting restrictions and of social distancing.

Impact

Socio-economic impact and recovery.

Visualization

Learn how to visualise results from mobile data analysis.

Module 3

The last module considers data privacy and ethical risks, and the biases inherent in mobile phone data. It also looks at complementary data sources.

Hadoop

Prepare, store and analyse data.

Biases

Biases and limitations of mobile phone data.

Risks

Data privacy, ethical risks, impact of non-use.

Other data

Use of smart phone data and satellite imagery.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, participants should be able to

  • Explain the V’s of Big Data (including volume, velocity, variety and value) and understanding mobile phone data as a big data source.
  • Appreciate concepts of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning related to mobile phone data.
  • Explain the different mobile phone datasets (composition of databases and registries at the mobile network operator).
  • Perform statistical inference on mobile phone data to extract features including place of residence, place of work, and daytime population (number of people in a geographical area at a certain time).
  • Appreciate the mobile phone data processing pipeline including data exploration, data cleaning, data anonymisation and analytics.
  • Appreciate the information value/actionable insights that can be generated from mobile phone data to respond to a pandemic like COVID-19 but also and to generate official statistics.
  • Explain the limitations and biases in using mobile phone data in generating statistics and actionable insights to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Examine data privacy and ethical risks for using mobile phone data in choosing options for data sharing frameworks, but also considering the impact of non-use.
  • Appreciate the use of Hadoop ecosystem big data tools in analysis of mobile phone data.

UN Global Pulse would like to thank the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for their continued support to this activity and UN Global Pulse’s overall mandate. 

Facilitators

Name Position Organization
Christofer Johansson (Mr.) Business Process Automation Specialist Independent Consultant
Ciira Maina (PhD) Senior Lecturer Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology
Elaine O. Nsoesie (PhD) Assistant Professor, Global Health Boston University
Ernest Mwebaze (PhD) Research Scientist Google AI Ghana
Francis Kimaru (Mr.) Business Intelligence and Analytics Business Partner Safaricom Kenya
John Quinn (PhD) Research Scientist Google AI Ghana
Joyce Nabende (PhD) Senior Lecturer, IT Makerere University
Martin Gordon Mubangizi (Mr.) Data Scientist UN Global Pulse
Mila Romanoff (Ms.) Privacy Specialist, Data Policy and Governance Lead UN Global Pulse
Miguel Lorenzo-Oroz (PhD) Chief Data Scientist UN Global Pulse
Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis (PhD) Innovation Advisor UN Global Pulse
Silas Labedo (Mr.) Senior Data Engineer UN Global Pulse
William Senfuma (Mr.) Head of Analytics and Pricing MTN Uganda
Wilson Abigaba (Mr.) Technical Advisor, Software Engineer UN Global Pulse
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