What happened and what’s next for DPPD

Experiment 4 Data Powered Positive Deviance
P3 Prototype

June 30, 2022
Basma Albanna, Andreas Pawelke

tl;dr: we were able to demonstrate the viability of the method and will continue to work on the widespread adoption of DPPD. If you want you to get involved, reach out at mail[at]datapoweredpd.org

Where we started

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What we learned

  • DPPD is not universally applicable: Digital data is rarely available at the level of individuals, mainly due to the need to de-identify and aggregate digital observations to preserve privacy. This makes DPPD better suited to development challenges where aggregated units are of relevance, e.g. geographic units such as villages or urban blocks.
  • Niche know-how is needed: A combination of country-specific domain knowledge and domain-specific data knowledge is crucial in the very early stages of a DPPD project. The former is needed to understand the normative behaviors in certain geographies and the contextual and structural factors that enable the successful practices applied by positive deviants. The latter is required to identify relevant performance indicators as well as mapping out suitable data sources that could be used.
  • Adopt a holistic approach when understanding deviance: DPPD provides an opportunity to uncover factors beyond the individual positive deviant that could be modified and transferred, such as access to markets or the provision of government subsidies. This can inform the design of nuanced interventions and thereby increase their effectiveness and contextual fit.
  • Earth observation data is the low hanging fruit for DPPD: Earth observation data turned out to be the most viable non-traditional data source that can be employed in the DPPD method. It can be acquired at low cost, over long periods of time, and thanks to recent advances in remote sensing technologies, it is witnessing a growing availability at a high resolution, including coverage of lowest-income countries where other datasets are lacking.

What we achieved

The challenges we faced

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What’s next

A new setup

Get involved

  • Apply the method: explore the application of DPPD in your work. Learn about it from our paper, see how others are doing it on our blog, use the handbook to apply it yourself, or message us for support.
  • Provide data access: we are interested in developing DPPD use cases using social media and mobile data. If you have access to such data and are interested in the method, please reach out to us.
  • Contribute with your expertise: are you an expert in data for development or community participatory approaches? Join the DPPD community or write to us to learn more.
  • Support us: Reach out to learn how to partner with us.