// Create Mobile Financial Services for the Poor

August 4, 2012

// The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation



Of the 2.6 billion people who live on less than $2 a day, nearly 80 percent don’t have access to a bank account. Digital financial tools--like savings, credit, or insurance--can help poor households capture opportunities and move out of poverty. We work with a wide range of public and private sector partners to help make digital financial services widely accessible to poor people throughout the developing world.

Project Description

The Gates Foundation works with cellphone providers, national banks, governments, and local businesses to provide cellphone-based financial services for the poor.  Much of this data is simple geo-spatial data, including locations of banks, poverty rates by village, and number of loans per country and very few people at the Foundation have the skills to even visualize this data on a map.  DataCorps volunteers would work with a close contact at the Gates Foundation to map and visualize different correlates, with an eye toward using this data to draw conclusions down the road.

The specifics of this project are still being scoped.  The DataCorps member on this project will collaborate with DataKind and the Gates Foundation to finalize the project.


Details are still being finalized but largely geospatial data about financial information.

Skills Needed

GIS / mapping skills, spatial statistics


The initial project appears to be quite short-term, something along the lines of a month.  There is the option to extend the project longer.  This project is very research heavy, so the DataCorps member must have the bandwidth to answer questions and turn small requests around in a couple of days time.