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Mobile phone data to find out areas of extreme poverty !

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    Gold Member webworld's Avatar
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    Default Mobile phone data to find out areas of extreme poverty !

    Do you think mobile phone data can help us find out areas of extreme poverty? As per a research led by Wen Dong and Venu Govindraju it can point us the sensitive areas. Their work is based on the assumption that the more mobile calls and texts passing in & out of a region, the lesser is the chance for extreme poverty! In its initial phase they chose West African nation of Senegal as a test-bed.

    In today's world it is a big challenge to concentrate on areas with extreme poverty and hope this new research findings will be of great help for various aid organizations. The researchers are working with Senegalese Government and Sonatel (major telecom provider of the region) to chalk out a model which can be implemented widely.

    Do you think it will be an effective strategy to find out the weakest areas?

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    Platinum Member panchabhut's Avatar
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    in India even manual workers are now using mobile.
    Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, Consciousness.

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    I don't think it is a good strategy, at least in India. If someone doesn't send much text doesn't mean that he is poor. I have so many relatives who are illiterates but use mobiles. They only use mobiles to talk, that too in absolute need only. But they are rich, like super-rich. Determining a region to be poor or rich doesn't depends on mobile data usage, least not in India.

    This concept may succeed in developed countries such as USA, UK, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shourya119 View Post
    I don't think it is a good strategy, at least in India. If someone doesn't send much text doesn't mean that he is poor. I have so many relatives who are illiterates but use mobiles. They only use mobiles to talk, that too in absolute need only. But they are rich, like super-rich. Determining a region to be poor or rich doesn't depends on mobile data usage, least not in India.

    This concept may succeed in developed countries such as USA, UK, etc.
    I totally agree with you. I feel that it is really odd to take up such an idea to measure extreme poverty. I think the output could be misleading. Nowadays, mobile is like a basic need of human life like food, shelter and cloth. As @Panchabhut has already said, even low paid workers are using mobile phones. Yes, it may work well in developed countries like USA or UK.

    I think it may be better if they could conduct a mobile based survey using all mobile operators of the world to find out high poverty areas. That will give somewhat accurate data.

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