Brenda Jimenez

Brenda is dedicated to improving health and education quality for people in disadvantaged circumstances.

Fact file

  • I am currently working with an NGO in Mexico to have a better understanding of the impacts of violence in children’s education.
  • I studied applied mathematics at ITAM and a master’s in mathematics at NYU. I am also taking some classes from the Data Science master at my former university, ITAM.
  • My main interest is to contribute to alleviating social inequalities in health and education. I am also an accepted student for the master’s in public policy at the University of Chicago with one of the highest scholarships for international students.
  • 2020 DSSG Summer project group: World Bank.

What is a social cause you care about deeply?

Improving health and education quality for people in disadvantaged circumstances. From a personal standpoint, these are areas we can improve a lot with more information, and they part of the core values a society must care about. I think those are the minimum tools every person should have access to from birth.

What have you found the most interesting so far when working with World Bank?

Unfortunately, corruption is a well-known phenomenon in countries like mine, but thanks to our work with Ofsted and the World bank I was able to discover that public procurement data can tangibly reveal suspicious practices. It has been interesting to understand these subtle ways of discretionary mechanisms can be hidden at different levels of aggregation and different national databases.

When you're not working, what can you be found doing?

I enjoy cooking, especially Mexican dishes, and I really enjoy hosting lunch events. It is a double rewarding activity since it allows me to cook and to get to know people better.

What skills have you gained so far on the DSSGx summer project programme and working with World Bank?

I have learned to appreciate the importance of clear and frequent communication; this is something that becomes crystal clear under the COVID19 setting we are passing through. Thanks to the DSSGX, I have broadened my knowledge in data science tools and how they interact with context. In terms of ML models, I have gained a deeper understanding about fuzzy string matching and network analysis.

And last but not the least, I have discovered a whole new group of smart and friendly people, with whom I am finding ways to nurture friendship despite physical distance.

What blog, podcast or book does everyone need to be aware of?

Poor Economics, it changes your view of what poverty means and the practicalities of public policy.

What would be your dream industry/ sector to work in? How do you think your involvement in the DSSG could help you get there?

I envision working at the intersection of public policy and data science. It could be in a public institution to help advancing decision making, backed up with reasonable models that incorporate social dynamics, resource constraints, and a diversity of actors in order to improve healthcare or education systems.