Artificial Intelligence

for Economic Development

 San Francisco, CA
March 1, 2018
Hosted by CEGA &
The World Bank

The Event

March 1, 2018

Rapid strides in machine learning have transformed the efficiency of public and private sector organizations alike; however, those working on poverty reduction have struggled to harness these cutting-edge technologies to improve outcomes for the poor. And while these technologies show promise, there are also risks in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in social programs and policies, including algorithmic bias and privacy concerns.

To address these challenges, CEGA and the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation initiative (DIME) are held a one-day workshop at the Google Community Space in San Francisco to explore the role of machine learning in economic research and public policy. We examined how AI and related technologies are being applied to a broad array of challenges in global development—from predicting migration patterns and crop yields, to detecting corruption, estimating poverty, and learning about consumers at the base of the economic pyramid.


​Event Gallery



Event Wrap-Ups

Credit: Josh Blumenstock

Credit: Temina Madon

Credit: Tom Perry

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The Organizers

The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a hub for research on global development, with a network of 80 academic researchers anchored at the University of California, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. Our faculty affiliates use rigorous evaluations, tools from data science, and new measurement technologies to assess the impacts of large-scale social and economic development programs. CEGA brings a scientific lens to global development, integrating empirical economic analysis with expertise in agriculture, public health, education, engineering, and the environment.

Impact Evaluation to Development Impact (i2i) is a World Bank program and global platform supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development(DFID). It leverages international assistance to generate high-quality and operationally relevant impact evaluations to transform development policy, reduce extreme poverty, and secure shared prosperity. i2i adopts the operational model of DIME, the impact evaluation unit of the World Bank’s Research Group. DIME’s objective is to increase the use of impact evaluation (IE) in the design and implementation of public policy, to (i) improve World Bank- and other donor-funded development projects and public policy to deliver better outcomes, (ii) strengthen country institutions for evidence - based policy making and (iii) generate knowledge in strategic development areas.

The “Innovations in Big Data Analyticsprogram resides in the Global Knowledge Unit. The program works with World Bank teams to put big data analytics in action in development operations.  Working with non-traditional data sources and methods involves challenges,  the big data program provides specialized technical assistance, innovation services and essential resources to get over the bumps on the road.


Past Measurement Technology Events

Background Credit: Mariajose Silva Vargas
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Contact: Kevin McCarthy at kevinmccarthy<at>berkeley<dot>edu