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Development Engineering: Behavioral Sensing Seminar Series


In developing countries, quantitative social science research relies heavily on infrequent surveys that capture the self-reported behavior of individuals and their families. These data can be biased and unreliable and are extremely costly to collect. Repeated surveying also has been shown to influence households' behavior and reporting, which limits the utility of high-frequency data.

The Behavioral Sensing workgroup is charged with designing a more reliable data collection platform for development economics. The platform will combine rugged, wireless sensor networks for long term, non-intrusive monitoring of behavior (i.e. cookstove usage) with mobile-phone based tools for collecting and transmitting data. It will enable public health, behavioral, and social scientists to collect data that study participants would ordinarily share through self-reports, but with greater accuracy, reliability and frequency than is currently feasible.

The seminar series features the work of researchers involved in this initiative, which combine expertise in social science and engineering in order to generate comprehensive, demand-driven solutions to development challenges. Organized in partnership with the Institute of International Studies, the series supports the Development Impact Lab's (DIL) efforts to support the scaling up of pro-poor innovations with global impact.

Lunch will be served.

** NEW: Grant opportunity for PhD students! Behavioral Sensing Research Challenge (deadline: Dec. 13, 2013) ** 
See CEGA online submission platform for application instructions.

Date and Time

Oct 24, 2013 12:00pm — Dec 3, 2013 1:00pm


Blum Hall B100


Thursday, October 24, 12pm - 1pm
Blum Hall B100

Monitoring Government Monitors: Using Smartphones to Improve Health Services in Punjab, Pakistan.
Michael Callen (Assistant Professor of Political Science, UCLA)

Monday, November 4, 12pm - 1pm
Blum Hall B100

Custom Ultra-Low-Cost Sensors for Rigorous Large-Scale Analysis of Cookstove Usage.
Daniel Wilson and Javier Rosa (Behavioral Sensing Research Grantees, UC Berkeley)

Behavioral Sensing with Open Data Kit and Stove Use Monitors Using Unskilled Enumerators in Darfur.
Angeli Kirk and Daley Kutzman (Behavioral Sensing Research Grantees, UC Berkeley)


Tuesday, December 3, 12pm - 1pm
Blum Hall B100

An Evaluation of Solar Microgrids in India: the Rural Electric Power Project (REPP)
Debalina Chakravarty (Development Impact Lab’s Visiting Scholar, Jadavpur University)

Time-Activity Monitoring System: Uncovering Personal Exposures to Household Air Pollution and their Relation to Pollution Sources.
Nicholas Lam, Ajay Pillarisetti, and Manuel Barron (Behavioral Sensing Research Grantees, UC Berkeley)