Big Data, Social Media and Development – an introduction

Big Data, Social Media and Development: three big areas which this blog will explore, question and unpack. We’ll be looking at the explosion of social media in the Global South and what implications this has for social change, economic growth and the relationship between “developing” nations and the “West”.

We’ll be looking at the opportunities and pitfalls of Big Data in relation to development practice and theory, and explore some of the trends which are turning the digital breadcrumbs of the Global South into digital dividends. Is it a pathway out of poverty, an opportunity for the digital divide to widen, or a dangerous black box of political and social control in uncertain times?

And what impact does “datification” have on humanitarian response, the efficiency of development organisations, and the widening gap between the social media reality in the Global South and attitudes to development from the Global North?

What isn’t in any doubt is that the ‘2.0’ digital world is at a crossroads with the ‘1.5’ world of development policy and practice. In a fast-changing area, this blog will try to keep abreast of some of latest thinking and its application to communications for development.

We welcome comments and links to this blog from across the world.

Trinity: Neo, no one has ever done anything like this.

Neo: I know, that’s why it’s going to work.

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