Enabling Mobile Network Operators to produce aggregates from CDR data

Flowminder aims to assist mobile network operators to generate outputs from their CDR data that can be used by governments, public health professionals, and other relevant experts to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We initially focus on producing code and guidelines for mobile network operators that may have limited technical capacity, especially those in low- and middle-income countries. This means that the code we have provided is both simple to modify, and also should not be extremely computationally intensive to run. 

We are continously adding more resources to the repository, including material that is suitable for settings where more capacity is available. In these cases, it will be possible to produce more complex outputs and analyses.

Repository of code and guidelines

We  have created a repository of code and guidelines that is freely available if you, as a mobile operator, wish to use your data to help inform the COVID-19 response effort. The repository currently contains code and guidance to enable your organisation to produce a set of basic, general-purpose aggreaged mobilty indicators ('building blocks'). We will shortly be adding guidelines on how to analyse these outputs over time to produce suitable end-estimates. We will incorporate feedback that we receive from mobile network operators and other contributors. 

Additional support

In some instances, we will be able to provide remote support, via video-conferencing, to help you adapt the code to run on your systems. We may also be able to assist with initial analyses of the outputs. We welcome requests, but given the scale of the outbreak we may not be able to support all requests. It is also recommended that any advanced analyses be performed by epidemiology experts with specific knowledge of COVID-19, and the country context, in order to ensure that the most accurate, relevant, and valuable information is produced in a timely manner.

Visit our contact page.

Resources for producing CDR aggregates

Privacy and confidentiality 

All of the outputs produced by Flowminder’s code are aggregated data, meaning that they do not contain any information about individual subscribers. Further guidance on how to ensure privacy of subscribers is included in the Github repository. Flowminder staff will be available to provide support and advice if there are any concerns in this area, or concerns regarding the possible disclosure of commercially sensitive information.

Integration within FlowKit

The code behind each CDR aggregate has been incorporated into FlowKit. FlowKit is Flowminder's open source suite of software tools that is designed to enable the secure access and analysis of mobile operator data for humanitarian and development purposes. For operators who already have FlowKit installed, this will enable them to very easily produce the listed aggregates.

For information about using FlowKit, please contact flowkit@flowminder.org.