Mar 16, 2021

Listen: Josh Blumenstock on Using Satellite Photos and Mobile Phones to Help Distribute Cash Aid

From People Fixing the World Podcast, BBC News

Using satellite photos to help distribute cash

By Hannah Gelbart

Togo has found a high-tech way to identify people who need financial help in the pandemic and send them emergency cash, using satellite photos and mobile phones.

Computers search for clues in images, such as the density of buildings, roofing materials and road surfaces. They combine this with data collected before the pandemic to work out how wealthy different areas are and which ones may need financial support.

Listen online.

Joshua Blumenstock is an associate professor in the UC Berkeley School of Information. 

Last updated:

March 19, 2021