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About the Lab

The Data-Intensive Development Lab explores how novel sources of data, and new computational algorithms, can promote sustainable global development. Our faculty, students, researchers, and partners bring methodological expertise in machine learning, statistics, and large-scale analytics to address the challenges facing the world’s poor.

Research Focus Areas

Measuring poverty and vulnerability

Financial services for the poor

Technology for development

Social networks in developing countries

Labor markets and migration

New data and methods are creating options for measuring key developing outcomes in resource-constrained environments. We use recent advances in machine learning and econometrics to transform novel sources of data into reliable economic indicators.

Billions of people around the world lack access to basic banking services. Our research explores how mobile phones and other digital technologies can deliver financial services to the poor, and whether these services can improve quality of life.

New information communications technologies are changing the structure of developing economies. Our research combines randomized control trials and field-based data collection with new sources of data and measurement to better understand the nature of these changes.

The relationships between people form the fabric of society. We use new data and methods to observe these relationships and better understand how they influence economic growth and development.

Migrants play a central role in bringing an economy towards a more efficient use of its resources. Our research explores how advances in measurement technology can provide new insight on the movement of populations, and how such migration impacts the broader economy.

Our Sponsors