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Bigger and Better Data:
How can they contribute to macro- and micro- resilience?


February 28th New York Salon - RSVP Now

Growing capacity to collect data related to people’s actions and behaviors has prompted efforts to harness that data to predict and track behaviors and plan aid and development interventions.

Some believe that better access to and use of information by individuals and households through “big data” may help reduce de-capitalization of assets in the face of or in anticipation of shocks, enhancing people’s ability to mitigate, cope and deal with them – in other words, decreasing vulnerability and enhancing resilience.

Others believe that big data isn’t the key question – that it’s the quality of data extracted, developed or found and particular actions related to that data that can truly transform a one-sided development action into a conversation.

So how can high quality data, big data and the so-called “data revolution” contribute to efforts to increase resilience in vulnerable communities? What is needed to harness the growing potential of data in this area? What do we need to be careful about in our actions and our assumptions?

Please RSVP now to join Jake Porway (DataKind), Elizabeth Eagen (Open Society Foundations) and Emmanuel Letouze (Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Institute) for a discussion on the role of data in enabling resilience at both micro and macro levels.

We’ll discuss questions like:
  • Can better data sets and big data do a more effective job of predicting crisis or conflict than traditional methods? Or does the conflation of humanitarian aid data and defensible human right data get blurred? What is the balance?
  • What are the ethical issues around collecting and using data and big data for development and humanitarian initiatives?
  • Does a lack of high quality data marginalize vulnerable populations or does an increase in personal data collection put vulnerable populations at greater risk of privacy violations and of being taken advantage of by those with more power and access to data?
  • Is there a danger of misinterpreting large data sets, harvested from random sources, and making reckless decisions? How can this be mitigated?
  • What are some examples of high quality data’s contribution to resilience?
  • What needs to be done to make data a credible, accessible and relevant resource for those working on resilience, including communities themselves?

We’ll have hot coffee and a light breakfast. Seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP quickly to be confirmed for attendance. Once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waiting list.
Data and Resilience
February Technology Salon NYC
Friday, February 28, 2014
99 Madison Ave, 15th Floor (map)
New York, NY 10016


About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
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