Telecom Data for Enhanced Zika Surveillance

Merging Telecom Data with Zika Incidence Data to Create Nearly Real-time Monitoring of Zika Risk Flows

Organization: Dalberg Data Insights

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Problem: The main driver of long-distance Zika transmission are human travelers who are responsible for introduction of the disease into new locations. However, little is known about mobility patterns of people in developing countries, and reliable systematic insights regarding people’s travel are not available for surveillance and intervention planning.

Solution: Dalberg Data Insights team will leverage telecom data which is systematically collected, covers large pro-portions of population and is rich on information about individual and collective mobility. This data is routinely collected by mobile phone operators for billing purposes and, when aggregated to small geographical areas, can be merged with Zika incidence data. Dalberg Data Insights will develop an interactive user-friendly tool that allows for nearly real-time monitoring of population movement and related Zika risk flows, thus enabling identification of new areas susceptible to Zika introduction, and prioritizing small-scale areas where Zika interventions would have the highest impact. Insights from the app will be used for strategy planning at the state level in Brazil. This means a significant improvement in data availability for decision makers, who currently do not have any information on people’s mobility and expected spreading direction.


Headshot of Alexis Eggermont

Alexis Eggermont – Master’s in Public Administration/International Development, Harvard University

Headshot of Jerome Urbain

Jerome Urbain – PhD, University of Mons (Belgium)

Headshot of Jonathan Frisch

Jonathan Frisch – Master’s in Physical Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Headshot of Kristyna Tomsu

Kristyna Tomsu – Master’s in Clinical Linguistics, Consortium of University of Potsdam, University of Groningen and University of Eastern Finland

Headshot of Rositsa Zaimova

Rositsa Zaimova – Master’s in International Management, Ramon Lull University (Barcelona)

Primary motivation:

"Working for telecom operators in developing countries for many years, we realized that a great potential lies in their data from which we derive many useful insights for humanitarian and development purposes. We will do our best to capture this potential, translating the insights into user-friendly interactive tools."

Previous Innovations Next