What does ‘development’ mean to data scientists, and how does that determine what data science can achieve within the field of international development? This essential question has been raised, in relation to certain D4D (Data for Development) projects, by some experts who further state:
Data science conducted with the aim of informing development policy must, by definition, involve an understanding of the policy area in question, and importantly the analysis must be combined with understanding of the local context. Without these characteristics, research only informs the field of data science rather than development policy.
(Taylor & Schroeder, 2015, pp. 508 & 514)
‘Data science must involve an understanding of the policy area and the local context’. Here is an interesting statement to begin with. So, let’s start with a video from the Geospatial Revolution Project.