Using big data for evaluating development outcomes: a systematic map

CEDIL Methods Working Paper 2

Francis Rathinam, Sayak Khatua, Zeba Siddiqui, Manya Malik, Pallavi Duggal, Samantha Watson and Xavier Vollenweider 

Spatially and temporally relevant ‘big data’ that does not require data collection in the field has the potential to provide insights into people’s economic, social, behavioural and political lives, and hence could be used in measuring key development outcomes.

This CEDIL Methods Working paper discusses the methodological, ethical and practical constraints relating to the use of big data for measuring and evaluating development outcomes. The paper presents the analysis of a systematic gap map developed by 3ie. The map included 437 studies, comprising impact evaluations, systematic reviews and big data measurement studies.

Suggested citation: Rathinam, F., Khatua, S., Siddiqui, Z., Malik, M., Duggal, P., Watson, S, and Vollenweider, X. 2020. Using big data for evaluating development outcomes: a systematic map. CEDIL Methods Working Paper 2. Oxford: Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning (CEDIL). Available at:

Download CEDIL Methods Working Paper 2

Download CEDIL Methods Brief 2

View Systematic Gap Map

Read the blog Big data in the time of a pandemic by Zeba Siddiqui and Francis Rathinam.

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