Data science for bridging the digital divide and beyond

Learn more Add to Calendar 07/16/2019 10:00 AM 07/17/2019 05:00 PM Europe/London Data science for bridging the digital divide and beyond Location of the event
Tuesday 16 Jul 2019 - Wednesday 17 Jul 2019
Time: 10:00 - 17:00

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About the event

The “digital divide” refers to the gap between those who have access to ICT, and those who do not. Understanding and bridging this digital divide, both domestically and internationally, is a complex multifaceted challenge. This workshop will offer a forum to explore challenges related to this topic, as well as how Data Science can feed into the wider debate. This workshop will bring together expertise in Internet infrastructure, social factors, policy, regulation, and economics – all with the goal of addressing the global digital divide and leveraging the positive ramifications of doing so through data-centric research.

The workshop will focus on bootstrapping a multidisciplinary community with expertise across these several domains, via a series of talks, panels and break-out sessions. Within the context of these disciplinary pillars, we will strive to explore the potential of Data Science to explain: (1) which issues and barriers exist; (2) how these barriers can be overcome; and (3) what challenges, risks and opportunities will emerge from surmounting them. We plan to identify important datasets and co-create a research roadmap that highlights key challenges, use-cases, and projects that explore the space.


Day 1 will be organised into a series of sessions consisting of presentations by experts and panel-based discussions. Day 2 will consist of  roundtable sessions, where we will brainstorm a research roadmap highlighting some of the key barriers that must be overcome to bridge the digital divide. We will also try to identify potential research projects that can help with this effort.

Day 1 (10:00 - 17:00)

Presentation Session 1: The politics of cables: regulation, economics and infrastructure

  • Steve Song (Network Startup Resource Center): “Open Telecom Data: Why greater transparency in the telecom sector is essential to the healthy evolution of the internet
  • Andrew Button (OfCom): “Addressing the problem: using geospatial science to unlock infrastructure intelligence”

Presentation Session 2: The human side: inequality, poverty and social factors”

  • Richard Heeks (University of Manchester): “Data Justice and the Next One Billion”
  • Enrico Calandro (Research ICT Africa): “After Access: Measuring digital inequalities in developing countries”
  • Reem Talhouk "Data Driven Technologies as Experienced by Syrian Refugee Communities"

Presentation Session 3: The role of innovation: understanding technology for bridging the divide

  • Tom Wilkinson (UK Department for International Development): AIID - Establishing a common data and intelligence platform for the delivery of International Aid
  • Arjuna Sathiaseelan (GAIUS Networks): GAIUS: Enabling a hyper local content ecosystem for emerging markets
  • Josiah Chavula (University of Cape Town): “Internet in Africa: from a macroscopic to microscopic view of performance”

Breakout session and closing remarks

Day 2 (10:00 - 13:00)

Roundtable Session 1: Data Gathering and Analysis for Bridging the Digital Divide

Roundtable Session 2: Formulating Projects and a Research Roadmap of Bridging the Digital Divide


The Alan Turing Institute

1st floor of the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

51.5297753, -0.12665390000006