The objective of this module is to describe an approach for leveraging mobile data to address social goals and questions in support of the SDGs. To support more real-time, dynamic and disaggregated data for decision making and fill data gaps where possible, satellite and mobile data can be immensely important. While generally, emerging countries may have more limited insights on their population through large-scale integrated data sources, the application of mobile data to support these types of analysis is universal. Mobile data show multiple advantages such as covering large portions of the population, offering standard format and providing insights on both individual and social behaviors.
For the Data for Action section of this Toolbox, mobile data represent an innovative, cost-effective and dynamic source of data to support the SDGs considering the scale of information available – nearly 5 billion people around the world own a mobile phone. The potential is tremendous. However, this is still very much a developing field especially in regards to the privacy and regulation, institutional and legal, and governance considerations. As such, this module is being developed iteratively and this initial release concentrates more on the what and how explaining mobile data, its potential uses, and some business models for how it can be accessed. Further iterations will dive deeper into these considerations, as well as refine the use cases represented in this paper.
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