Using mobile phone and satellite data to target Togo's emergency cash transfer program
The Government of Togo has launched an ambitious cash transfer program to provide immediate cash support to poor households that are impacted by COVID-19. The project will assist the government response by improving geographic targeting by building high-resolution poverty maps using a combination of satellite imagery, multiple nationally-representative survey data, and machine learning. The team will also leverage data from mobile phone companies to help the government better target the response to the country's most vulnerable individuals and households. This assistance will greatly expand the set of options the government has for targeting poor individuals who are currently excluded from the program. This approach also has the potential to scale beyond Togo; the researchers are exploring designing similar strategies to improve the targeting of cash support in Bangladesh and Nigeria.