The Question

How can new digital data, both “big data” and “small data”, be used to support development efforts and how might this be done in ways which empower the marginalised rather than reinforce inequality?

The ESRC Digital Development Strategic Network is funded (1 Jan 2017 – 30 June 2018) by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council from the Global Challenges Research Fund.

The Digital Development Network brings together leading researchers and practitioners from information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D), Data Science and participatory practice. The network will work together to develop an ambitious and innovative research agenda to support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The network is made up of some 30 members clustered in  4 thematic groups, including participants from different institutions, disciplines, career stages and stakeholder groups, facilitating mutual peer-mentoring. We will collaborate across disciplines, across countries and develop research agendas in strong co- productive partnerships with non- academic actors, while simultaneously building capacity throughout the network.

We kicked off the network with an all-hands Symposium in South Africa, in April 2017. Read about it here. This enabled partners to meet, partake in workshops and capacity build before they work together, remotely, for the remainder of the year. Online meetings, webinars, stays with each other’s institutions and production of review papers will continue throughout 2017 and into the new year. A second all- hands symposium will be held in Sheffield in March 2018 to present papers and prepare for GCRF bids.

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