Kush Varshney: Volunteers and algorithms deliver funds       


Kush Varshney: Volunteers and algorithms deliver funds - overview

Inside IBM Research | Where great science and social innovation meet

Hear how mobile technology is making cash transfers to Kenya and Uganda’s poor.

Long-distance targeting: The words conjure up images of missiles and drones. But a collaboration involving IBM Research, a data science community called DataKindTM, an NGO called GiveDirectly and a “data journalist” funded by the Knight Foundation got together in New York to deliver cash directly to extremely poor villagers in Kenya and Uganda. Armed only with computers, Google satellite images and an algorithm, the team ultimately facilitated the distribution of cash payments via mobile phone — and gave people a way to better their lives.

In Volunteers and algorithms deliver funds, IBM’s Kush Varshney talks about the work he did with data journalist Brian Abelson, a crew of social innovators and twenty idealistic volunteers to target a problem half-way around the world.

Listen to the podcast episode.

Read the audio transcript (pdf).

Read: Targeting Direct Cash Transfers to the Extremely Poor (pdf).

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Last updated on September 22, 2014