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Mobile Technology

Spurring social and economic enterprise in emerging markets

Use of mobile phones has become ubiquitous in South Asia — not only as a tool to close the information gap, but a powerful device to promote economic growth in emerging markets. This project hopes to broaden the understanding of mobile technology and how it can enable economic and social mobility particularly for the low-income population. Our collective efforts can increase knowledge of, and provide better access to services in areas of mobile-healthcare, banking, education, etc. and improve livelihoods.

Aside from their societal impact, data generated by these mobile technologies can be harnessed to provide novel insights about human behavior at an unprecedented scale. Some of the questions being explored are what these data can teach us about social networks, patterns, etc. Inevitably other questions will arise — what is the role of international legislation regarding data ownership? What lessons can we learn from other big data contexts and how can we apply those lessons to South Asia? This multi-year research project will address these questions.

Faculty Leaders: 

Satchit BalsariChief, Weill Cornell Global Emergency Medicine Division, and Faculty, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Tarun Khanna, Director of SAI, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School

JP Onnela, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health