The objective of this module is to describe an approach for leveraging mobile data to address social goals and questions in support of the SDGs.  To support more real-time, dynamic and disaggregated data for decision making and fill data gaps where possible, satellite and mobile data can be immensely important.  While generally, emerging countries may have more limited insights on their population through large-scale integrated data sources, the application of mobile data to support these types of analysis is universal.  Mobile data show multiple advantages such as covering large portions of the population, offering standard format and providing insights on both individual and social behaviors.

For the Data for Action section of this Toolbox, mobile data represent an innovative, cost-effective and dynamic source of data to support the SDGs considering the scale of information available – nearly 5 billion people around the world own a mobile phone.  The potential is tremendous.  However, this is still very much a developing field especially in regards to the privacy and regulation, institutional and legal, and governance considerations.  As such, this module is being developed iteratively and this initial release concentrates more on the what and how explaining mobile data, its potential uses, and some business models for how it can be accessed.  Further iterations will dive deeper into these considerations, as well as refine the use cases represented in this paper.

An expert group has been assembled to support the development of this module.  Stay tuned for further iterations of this module.  


For further information, please contact 


● Business Models for Mobile Big Data, ITU

● Data for Development and OPAL, Orange

● Leveraging Data to Address Untapped Social Dimensions, Real Impact Analytics

● Mobile Phone Network Data for Development, Global Pulse


Contributing Partners

Dalberg Data Insights
Private sector
Dalberg Data Insights builds bridges between private data and important social problems.  We create tools to interpret data and uncover solutions in international development, humanitarian action, and social impact.
Private sector
Orange is one of the largest operators of mobile and internet services in Europe and Africa and a global leader in corporate telecommunication services.

This Resource Works to Achieve These SDGs