Emmanuel Letouzé

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Emmanuel Letouzé
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisApplications and Implications of Call-Detail Records for Demo-Economic Analysis (2016)
Doctoral advisor

Emmanuel Letouzé (born 1975) is a French development economist, economic demographer and political cartoonist who focuses on data and development and the author of the United Nations Global Pulse White Paper "Big Data for Development" in 2012.[1]

Letouzé the Director and co-Founder of Data-Pop Alliance, a not-for-profit organization focusing on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and human development created in 2013 with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), MIT Media Lab and Overseas Development Institute (ODI), where he holds research affiliations as a visiting scientist at HHI, MIT Connection Science Founding Fellow,[2] and research associate at ODI.[3] He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where he teaches a class on "Gender Data for Gender Equality" and an Adjunct Professor at Sciences Po Paris where he teaches on "Technology for Global Challenges". Previously he was a Marie Curie Fellow at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.[4]

His work lies at the intersection of human development and data science, especially the applications and implications of digital data and technologies for sustainable development,[5][6] official statistics,[7][8][9] poverty and inequality, criminality,[10] migration,[11] gender equality, monitoring and evaluation, conflict and fragility,[12] press freedom, privacy,[13] data and algorithmic governance,[14] public health,[15][16] and "Human Artificial Intelligence".[17][18][19]

Early life and career[edit]

Letouzé was born in Brittany, France and grew up in the banlieue of Paris, Sweden and Kuwait. After studying at Lycée Henri IV, he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MA in Applied Economics specialized in Economic Demography from Sciences Po Paris, the latter with field work at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement in Dakar, Senegal, an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs on a Fulbright fellowship, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley with a dissertation on "Applications and Implications of Call-Detail Records for Demo-Economic Analysis"[20] under the supervision of Ronald Lee, Edward Miguel and Jennifer Johnson-Hanks. He completed his post-doctoral research in 2016-17 at the MIT Media Lab in Alex 'Sandy' Pentland's Human Dynamics Group.

Between 2000 and 2004, Letouzé worked in Hanoi, Vietnam for the French Ministry of Finance and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading a technical assistance project on Economic Governance with the Vietnamese General Statistics Office, Ministry of Finance, and National Assembly.[21] He then worked as an Economist for the United Nations Development Programme in New York between 2005 and 2009, on fiscal policy and fiscal space for poverty reduction, post-conflict economic recovery, and migration as part of the 2009 Human Development Report research team.[22] In 2011, he joined UN Global Pulse in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General where he wrote the White Paper "Big Data for Development: Challenges and Opportunities".[1] He was then the lead author of the 2013 OECD Fragile States report, which proposed to "move away from a “thin”, formal conceptualisation of fragility centred on the state, towards a “thick”, substantive understanding centred on the quality of state-society relations and with greater attention to potential stress factors, including economic vulnerability, demographic dynamics, climate change and technological innovation."[23]

In late 2013, he co-founded Data-Pop Alliance[24] and in 2016 he co-founded the Open Algorithms project (OPAL),[25][26] which he directed from 2017 to 2020. In 2021, Letouzé joined the Universitat Pompeu Fabra as a Marie Curie Fellow.[27]

Letouzé focuses on developing countries and has conducted field work in Benin, Brazil, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Jordan, Liberia, Lebanon, Mexico, Maldives, Mauritania, Moldova, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

As a cartoonist, under the alias "Manu", he has published political and editorial cartoons and illustrations in France and the US.[28]

Data-Pop Alliance[edit]

Letouzé co-founded Data-Pop Alliance in 2013 with Alex 'Sandy' Pentland, Patrick Vinck and Claire Melamed, with initial seed funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.[29] Data-Pop Alliance is a non-governmental organization with a global team and scope of work. Its aim is to "change the world with data"[30] through three pillars of work: diagnosing local realities and human problems with data and AI; mobilizing capacities, communities, and ideas towards more data literate societies; and transforming systems and processes that underpin societies and countries.[31]

From 2014 to 2020, Data-Pop Alliance was hosted by ThoughtWorks in New York City.[32] In 2018, it opened a regional office in Mexico City[33] and in 2021, a regional office in Dakar, Senegal. Nuria Oliver serves as Data-Pop Alliance's Chief Data Scientist.

In a 2015 interview with KD Nuggets[34] about the creation of Data-Pop Alliance, Letouzé said:

I had the idea of creating 'something' like Data-Pop Alliance since about late 2012, after I left Global Pulse where I worked and wrote the White Paper "Big Data and Development" in 2010–11. That paper was my 1st foray into what was then a tiny field, and it opened doors. I was back in UC Berkeley working on my PhD in 2012–13, and was increasingly involved in the field as it started growing, talking at a few conferences, writing a few articles—and I wanted to build something lasting with a bit of a different feel and focus compared to what existed (Global Pulse, DataKind, for instance). I wanted to create something more academic with a greater emphasis on capacity building, on politics, and work with partners in developing countries

Data-Pop Alliance currently operates projects in over 20 countries, with staff located in Latin America, the MENA region and Europe. Some of its key partners are UNDP, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNESCO, WFP, DIAL, UN-ESCWA, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications.

Just changed to "According to the 2021-2023 Annual Report [35] its thematic programs are:

  • 1. Just Digital Transformations
  • 2. AI and Statistics for the SDGs
  • 3. Resilient Livelihoods and Ecosystems
  • 4. Data Feminism
  • 5. Geographies of Inequalities
  • 6. Technology and Democracy

Affiliations and awards[edit]

Political cartooning[edit]

Je suis Charlie panel

Letouzé is a political cartoonist under the pen name "Manu".[38][39][40] He was the editorial cartoonist of French regional daily newspaper L'Union de Reims from 1997 to 2004, where he published over 350 cartoons. He has also contributed political cartoons to the weekly magazine Politis, news website Rue89, and to the satirical website Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like.[41] He held a solo exhibition at The Invisible Dog Art Center in New York in 2011,[42] and became an appointed member of the Cartoon Movement in 2012.[43]

Cartoon by Manu

In 2011, with other French cartoonists he took part in the response to the first attack against Charlie Hebdo's offices,[44][45] and contributed cartoons to the campaign for marriage equality in France. In January 2015, he published a tribute to Charlie Hebdo cartoonists titled "They Killed My Idols"[46] in the Nib, and in February 2015, he participated in a debate organized by PEN America, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) on "After Charlie: What's next for art, satire, and censorship?" at FIAF with Art Spiegleman, Molly Crabapple and Francoise Mouly.[47]

He has contributed cartoons and illustrations to several humanitarian publications and campaigns, including for the Sphere Standards, which sets international humanitarian assistance standards, and the International Peace Institute's Management Handbook for UN Peacekeeping missions.[48]

He regularly uses cartoons in his academic publications and presentations on data and development[49][50][51][52][53][54][55] and in 2020 he spoke at the UN World Data Forum about the influence of his work as a cartoonist on his work as an economist.[56]

Selected publications[edit]

On Big data and development:

On fiscal policy and fiscal space:

On migration:

On crime, conflict and violence

On official statistics and human artificial intelligence:

On data and algorithmic governance:


  1. ^ a b Letouzé, Emmanuel. "Big Data for Development: Challenges and Opportunities". United Nations Global Pulse. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé". MIT Connection Science. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé: Research Associate". ODI. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  4. ^ "AI for the Planet Digital Conference". AI for the planet. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  5. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel. "Thoughts on Big Data and the SDGs" (PDF). UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development. United Nations. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  6. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel. "Big Data: What is it and how can it contribute to Sustainable Development". UN SDG:Learn. United Nations System Staff College. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  7. ^ Letouzé, E.; Jütting, J. "Big Data, Official Statistics and Human Development" (PDF). PARIS21. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  8. ^ Pestre, Gabriel; Letouzé, Emmanuel; Zagheni, Emilio (February 2020). "The ABCDE of Big Data: Assessing Biases in Call-Detail Records for Development Estimates". World Bank Economic Review. 1 (Supplement 1): S89–S97. doi:10.1093/wber/lhz039. hdl:10986/36153.
  9. ^ Roca, Thomas; Letouzé, Emmanuel (February 2016). "La révolution des données est-elle en marche ? Implications pour la statistique publique et la démocratie". Afrique Contemporaine (258): 95–111. doi:10.3917/afco.258.0095.
  10. ^ De Nadai, Marco; Xu, Yayan; Letouzé, Emmanuel; Gonzáles, Marta C.; Lepri, Bruno (17 August 2020). "Socio-economic, built environment, and mobility conditions associated with crime: a study of multiple cities". Scientific Reports. 13871 (2020) (10): 13871. arXiv:2004.05822. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-70808-2. PMC 7431538. PMID 32807802. S2CID 215745299.
  11. ^ Lee, F.; Zagheni, E.; Abel, G.; Hill, J.; Pestre, G.; Letouzé, E.; Cai, J. (1 February 2021). "Analyzing the effect of time in migration measurement using geo-referenced digital trace data". Demography. 58 (1): 51–74. doi:10.1215/00703370-8917630. PMC 8055474. PMID 33834241. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  12. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel; Vinck, Patrick; Meier, Patrick (April 2013). "Big Data for Conflict Prevention: When the New Oil Meets Old Fires". Ipi, Undp, Usaid (Special Issue on New Technology and the Prevention of Violence and Conflict): 4–28. SSRN 2902494. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  13. ^ De Montjoye, YA; Gambs, S; Blondel, V; et, al (2018). "On the privacy-conscientious use of mobile phone data". Scientific Data. 5 (5): 180286. Bibcode:2018NatSD...580286D. doi:10.1038/sdata.2018.286. PMC 6289108. PMID 30532052.
  14. ^ Lepri, Bruno; Oliver, Nuria; Letouzé, Emmanuel; Pentland, Alex; Vinck, Patrick (December 2018). "Fair, Transparent, and Accountable Algorithmic Decision-making Processes". Philosophy and Technology. 31 (4): 611–627. doi:10.1007/s13347-017-0279-x. hdl:1721.1/122933. S2CID 67165792.
  15. ^ Oliver, Nuria; Lepri, Bruno; Sterly, Harald; Lambiotte, Renaud; Letouzé, Emmanuel; Pentland, Alex; Phuong, Pham; Vinck, Patrick; De Nadai, Marco; Ali Salah, Albert; Pivetta, Frédéric; Benjamins, Richard; Murillo, Juan; Koebe, Till; Lehman, Sune; Deletaillle, Sébastien; Coliza, Vittoria; De Cordes, Nicolas; Cattuto, Ciro; Tizzoni, Michele; Verhulst, Stefaan; Scarpino, Samuel V.; Saramäki, Jari; Fraiberger, Samuel (6 June 2020). "Mobile phone data for informing public health actions across the COVID-19 pandemic life cycle". Science Advances. 6 (23): eabc0764. Bibcode:2020SciA....6..764O. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abc0764. PMC 7274807. PMID 32548274.
  16. ^ Kaneda, Toshiko; Ashford, Lori; Letouzé, Emmanuel (13 January 2022). "Demystifying Big Data for Demography and Global Health". Population Reference Bureau Population Bulletin. 76 (1). Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  17. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel; Pentland, Alex (6 December 2018). "Towards a Human Artificial Intelligence for Human Development". ITU Journal: ICT Discoveries. 1 (2). Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé (Data Pop Alliance), Dark Days or a Brighter Tomorrow? | GIZ tech2D 2018". Youtube. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé's keynote on "Human Artificial Intelligence for Societal Resilience" at the Herrenhausen Conference "Extreme Events - Building Climate Resilient Societies" on October 10, 2019 in Hannover". Volkswagen Foundation. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  20. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel. "Applications and Implications for Call-Detail Records for Demo-Economic Analysis". eScholarship. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé". Overseas Development Institute. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Human Development Report 2009 "Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development"". January 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  23. ^ "FRAGILE STATES 2013: Resource flows and trends in a shifting world" (PDF). OECD.
  24. ^ "Interview: Emmanuel Letouzé, Data-Pop Alliance on the Role of Big Data in Economic Development". KD nuggets. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  25. ^ "OPAL: Open Algorithms for Better Decisions | Emmanuel Letouzé | WEF 2019". Youtube. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  26. ^ Pentland, Alex; Letouzé, Emmanuel. "OPAL's vision to leverage data for societal development" (PDF). OPAL Project. OPAL (2017). Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  27. ^ "LETOUZÉ, EMMANUEL". Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Emmanuel "Manu" Letouzé". Cartoon Movement. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  29. ^ "Our Story". Data-Pop Alliance. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé: Changing the World with Data". SuperDataScience Podcast. SuperDataScience. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  31. ^ "Data-Pop Alliance". Policy Commons. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  32. ^ "Data-Pop Alliance". School and college listings.
  33. ^ "DPA opens its Latin American Office in Mexico City". Data-Pop Alliance. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  34. ^ "Interview: Emmanuel Letouzé, Data-Pop Alliance on Big Data for Development and Future Prospects -". KD Nuggets. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  35. ^ "Overview and Outlook 2020-2022. Changing the world with data" (PDF). Data-Pop Alliance.
  36. ^ "Expert Group on facilitating the use of new data sources for official statistics". European Commission. 11 December 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  37. ^ "UC Berkeley Regents' and Chancellor's Scholarship".
  38. ^ "L'ONU en bande dessinée". RFI. 10 October 2011.
  39. ^ "Dans le cercle fermé des dessinateurs du New Yorker. 2012". Le Figaro. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  40. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé, dessinateur expatrié : " La caricature de presse est très adaptée aux nouveaux médias "". US Médiatiques. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  41. ^ "Emmanuel "Manu" Letouzé". Cartoon Movement. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  42. ^ "Emmanuel "Manu" Letouze". The Invisible Dog. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  43. ^ "Emmanuel "Manu" Letouzé". Cartoonist Movement. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  44. ^ "Sur Rue89, les dessinateurs solidaires de Charlie Hebdo". NouvelObs. 2 November 2011.
  45. ^ "Charlie Hebdo incendié : des caricatures attaquées par des caricatures". 2 November 2011.
  46. ^ "They Murdered my Idols". The Nib. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  47. ^ "After Charlie: what's next for art, satire, and censorship?". PEN America. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  48. ^ Hecht, Alice; Junk, Julian; Kambaran, Vickesh; Papenfuss, Till; Salomons, Dirk; Samii, Cyrus. "The Management Handbook for UN Field Missions" (PDF). International Peace Institute. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  49. ^ Cohen-Setton, Jérémie; Letouzé, Emmanuel (29 August 2016). "Big Data, aggregates and individuals". Bruegel Blogs. Bruegel. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  50. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel (8 November 2012). "Can Big Data From Cellphones Help Prevent Conflict?". IPI Global Observatory. International Peace Institute. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  51. ^ "Should 'data literacy' be promoted?". UN Stats Youtube. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  52. ^ "Emmanuel Letouzé: "Data for Development"". UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix. UC Berkeley. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  53. ^ "The Art of Emmanuel Letouzé". UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix. UC Berkeley. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  54. ^ Letouzé, Emmanuel. ""Make Measurement Matter: Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Monitoring and Promoting Sustainable Human Development". Presentation at the Brazilian Network Information Center – NIC.br, São Paulo, Brazil, 2019" (PDF). Cetic.br. Retrieved 19 January 2022.
  55. ^ "Artwork by Manu". Datatoons. Data-Pop Alliance. 2 July 2021.
  56. ^ "How to make data memorable, engaging, and inspiring, using cartoons, humour and serious gameplay". YouTube. UN World Data Forum. Retrieved 17 January 2022.