Data Science Academic Seminar

11 Aug 2015

Speaker: Dr John Quinn, United Nations Global Pulse

Title: Telecoms data analysis for disaster response and humanitarian planning


Date: Tuesday 11 August 2015

Time: 11:00-12:00

Location: Room 4.31/4.33, Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh

Chair: Chris Williams, Director of the CDT in Data Science, University of Edinburgh


A lack of timely information can hamper humanitarian efforts, for example in the aftermath of natural disaster, during infectious disease outbreaks, or for planning in developing countries without comprehensive national statistics. Conventional methods of data collection in these contexts, e.g. based on household surveys, are slow and expensive to administer. Significant new data resources have been emerged, however, as a byproduct of the widescale use of mobile phones across the developing world. By extracting statistics from billing records collected by telecoms operators, for the first time it is possible to observe phenomena such as population movements and economic behaviour in real time and at population scale. This talk will describe work on applying such analysis in Uganda and other countries in Africa.

Further information about John Quinn: