Big data, big insights: Mapping climate-induced displacement with mobile data | DW Global Media Forum | DW | 31.03.2014
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GMF

Big data, big insights: Mapping climate-induced displacement with mobile data

Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 2.00 p.m., Room C

Hosted by: flowminder.org / United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security
















In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan displaced an estimated four million people in the Philippines. Only a month earlier, cyclonic storm Phailin forced the government to evacuate nearly nine million people in Eastern India. As extreme weather events increase in frequency and severity, more and more people will be forced to leave their homes. Where do these displaced populations go? Is aid infrastructure in place when they arrive? Do they return home after the disaster has passed?

Mobile Data, Environmental Extremes and Population (MDEEP) is a cutting-edge project at the junction of big data, climate change, and human welfare. It is the first time mobile call data records (CDRs) have been used to assess climate impacts. The research findings have strong implications for capacity building in disaster preparedness and response, as well as needs assessment.

MDEEP started just after Cyclone Mahasen hit Bangladesh in May 2013 and affected more than 1.3 million people. MDEEP’s researchers from the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Flowminder.org have analyzed anonymous mobile data from more than five million users provided by Grameenphone, the largest mobile phone services operator in Bangladesh, and will present their initial findings from Cyclone Mahasen at the workshop.

As more people are affected by extreme weather, the media play a crucial role in shaping the wider dialogue on environmental migration. Anonymized CDRs used in this project offer precise and reliable data on a very large scale, which will be presented visually with maps and figures, making it easier for journalists to collaborate with researchers on such a complex issue. The period following a disaster is chaotic and rife with misinformation. This workshop will explore how the media can use the maps and analyses generated by novel and big datasets to verify information following a disaster and how they can more accurately report on the struggles and challenges of environmental migrants.

Panelists:

Tsubaki, Rina
Project Manager / Lead for Emergency Journalism and Verification Handbook, European Journalism Centre, The Netherlands

Wetter, Dr. Erik
Co-Founder, Flowminder, Sweden

Wrathall, David J.
Senior Researcher, United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Germany

Moderation:

Kandel, Janine
Head of Communications, United Nations University Vice Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE), Germany