Neeti Pokhriyal and Wen Dong
Computer Science and Engineering
State University of New York at Buffalo
Can the accessibility of mobile technology be used to identify, characterize and alleviate poverty? This project is an attempt to answer this question. We conduct two studies.
1. Using the cellular-communications data, we construct virtual connectivity maps for Senegal. The spatial regions are nodes and the cellular communications between regions are links. The connectivity is then correlated with the poverty indicators. Our model predicts poverty index and generates a poverty map for Senegal at an unprecedented fine resolution.
2. We study how phone usage behavior, gathered from cellular-communications, correlates with the poverty indicators. Using only this relationship can also give us a poverty map. Since poverty is a complex phenomenon, poverty maps showcasing multiple perspectives, such as ours, provide policymakers with better insights for effective responses for poverty eradication.