This synthesis report explores the opportunities, challenges and
required steps for leveraging the new ecosystem of Big Data to monitor
and detect hazards, mitigate their effects, and assist in relief
efforts. Ultimately the goal is to build resilience so that vulnerable
communities and countries as complex human ecosystems not only ‘bounce
back’ but also learn to adapt to maintain equilibrium in the face of
An overall conclusion is that Big Data for resilience, as with nearly
everything with Big Data, is still “in its intellectual and operational
infancy”; most existing applications are small pilots, few formal
evaluations exist, and much of the field consists of studies from the
grey and white literature, case studies, and reports from NGOs,
humanitarian organizations, and private companies. But based on the
evidence available so far, Big Data does show real value and potential
as a force for increasing social resilience, provided it is approached
and promoted not merely as yet another technological fix.
The report is intended to provide evidence that will feed into the
Post-2015 Development Agenda in September 2015, the Paris 2015 UN
Climate Change Conference, and the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit to be
held in Istanbul at the end of May 2016, as well as to support the
implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Anttila-Hughes, J.; Dumas, M.; Jones, L.; Pestre, G.; Qiu, Y.; Levy, M.; et al. Big data for climate change and disaster resilience: Realising the benefits for developing countries. Synthesis Report. Data-Pop Alliance (2015) 60 pp.