Using Big Data and its Analytical Techniques for Public Policy Design and Implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean

May 2017
This paper discusses the constantly changing definition of big data and portrays the landscape of the most widely used analytical techniques in the context of public policy formulation in Latin America and the Caribbean. It also presents the conclusions drawn from three exploratory studies conducted by sector teams of the Inter-American Development Bank regarding firm-level productivity, sustainable urban mobility, and smart cities. Based on these studies, the paper addresses sensitive issues surrounding the use of big data in public policy, such as data security and ownership, privacy, ethical framework of data use, among others. The paper concludes by making recommendations for government agencies regarding the use of public value intelligence and suggesting a competency rubric for “smart consumers” of big data. The target audiences areprimarily the decision makers in different sectors of the governments in the region, public sector professionals, and social and economic development specialists.