Data Upside-Down: data universalism in a heterogeneous Global South

Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, warned yesterday the members at the UN General Assembly about the dangers to which human rights are subject with the emergence of ’digital welfare states’. He went further to highlight the burden of the externalities levied on society as a result of …

Open data: empowering citizens and governments for attaining sustainable development

Open Data: as pure as the driven snow… Open Data (OD) is data freely available for anyone to use for any purpose. Such data may come from social media, private companies, NGOs, and government databases and agencies, and can be used to a) foster economic growth, b) boost jobs market, …

Data Upside-Down: where is the Global South?

On Monday, The Guardian launched a journalistic global series under the title Automating Poverty. The series explores the ongoing trend to digitalise and automatise state and society relations with a focus on how governments use artificial intelligence (AI) to target the vulnerable. In a series of articles, Ed Pilkington, the …

Can Virtual Reality become an empathy-driving tool in development?

In 2018, The Open University partnered with a virtual reality developer company, academics, as well as a think tank to create ‘Virtual Inclusion: Tackling Hate and Extremism Using Virtual Technology’. The goal of the project was to combat extremism among vulnerable young people and to ‘allow young person to experience …

Big Data for social change in the developing world: transparency and ethical challenges

Big Data strategies in developing countries Practical applications of Big Data strategies could be achieved through a robust public-private sector collaboration, and include, among others, mobilizing data to deal with the consequences of natural disasters and epidemics. Customizing data sharing and data personalization options, performing financial transactions, open data to …

Can Big Data combat world hunger or is it just ‘food for thought?

Can Big Data combat world hunger or is it just ‘food for thought?’ In 2015, the UN adopted seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming at an inclusive and participatory development. SDG 2 refers specifically to the elimination of world hunger, taking into account that about 10% of the world population …

The impact of Data Colonialism on the Global South

Reinventing colonialism… Undoubtedly, the disguised power of digital (Big) data today [1] is inevitably associated to the evolution of capitalism, mostly because data extraction and data processing comprise the basis for the formulation of multiple colonial modes of exploitation. These new dynamic colonial ‘states’ are constantly fed with all and …