Machine learning in action for the humanitarian sector | 1/22/2019 | Staff
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Governments across the world came together in Marrakesh this past December to ratify a pact to improve cooperation on international migration. Among other objectives, the Global Compact for Migration seeks to use "accurate and disaggregated data as a basis for evidence-based policies." How can machine learning technologies help with deeply polarizing societal issues like migration?

In early 2018, with support from IBM Corporate Citizenship and the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, IBM and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) embarked on a partnership aimed squarely at the need to better understand migration drivers and evidence-based policy guidance for a range of stakeholders. At the recent THINK Copenhagen keynote, the Secretary General of the DRC, Christian Friis Bach, presented the first results of this effort.

Post - Development - Machine - Learning - System

In this post, I'll walk through the development of a machine learning system that provides strategic forecasts of mixed migration along with scenario analysis. Mixed migration refers to cross-border movements of people that are motivated by a multiplicity of factors to move, including refugees fleeing persecution and conflict, victims of trafficking, and people seeking better lives and opportunity. Such populations have a range of legal statuses, some of which are not reflected in official government statistics.

Understanding migration dynamics and drivers is inherently complex. Circumstances differ from person to person. The question "why did you decide to move?" is not straightforward for people to answer. However, to the extent that individual decisions reflect structural societal factors, the dynamics can be partially explained by aggregate measures. For instance, economic drivers for movement can be expected to be related to employment opportunities and therefore macro indicators on employment. These challenges are compounded by data availability and coverage on specific indicators.

Monitoring - Program - DRC - Thousands - Migrants

We started by leveraging the 4MI monitoring program run by the DRC through which thousands of migrants on the move are interviewed. Analysis...
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