Q: We are a research unit of an institute or company with commercial interests. Can we participate in the challenge?

A: Yes, as long as the data are not used for commercial purposes, as evidenced by your project proposal, you can participate in the challenge.

Q: There are multiple fields in the application, such as “What is your story,” “Comments”, “Presentation” etc. What is expected there?

A: The purpose of the project application is to judge whether the proposed project can be useful to refugees (in whichever way), and to ensure it is not commercially motivated. Please provide as much detail as you see fit. The main description is the most important, the other fields are for your use if there is anything special you need to include or draw attention to.

Q: Can I get more information about the nature of the data?

A: Please check d4r.turktelekom.com.tr/presentation/data to learn more about the data, and contact d4r@turktelekom.com.tr for more information, if necessary.

Q: Can I participate as an individual, not connected to an institution?

A: Individuals (scientists) connected to institutions can be project leaders. You can participate in a team if you are not working in an institution. Your name and signature needs to be on the data agreement.

Q: Can we use external data?

A: Most definitely. The CDR data by itself can tell very little. When combined with other data sources, it becomes very useful.

Q: Will the database contain customer’s base station tracked locations, in addition to call locations?

A: No. Only the base stations for call and SMS usage are included. Even these are sometimes noisy, as busy base stations will hand off calls to nearby stations.

Q: Is it possible to know the positions of POIs such as hospitals, malls, and schools?

A: Yes, external data can be used for this purpose. Since the coordinates of base stations are provided, they can be used to infer usage of POIs.

Q: Can we publish the results of our research in academic venues?

A: Yes. The project reports will be made publicly available, after the check by the Project Evaluation Committee. If you’d like to publish anything else based on the data, for instance in conferences and journals, it has to properly reference the dataset, and it has to be approved by the PEC. The criterion for approval is simple; the publication should not contain material that may be harmful to the refugees in any way. PEC can request amendments before publication. We will make sure that the approval (and amendment requests, if any) will be handled rapidly.

Q: Will you make demographic information about the customers in the dataset available?

A: This is not certain at this point. We are trying to gather some Bandicoot indicators. In any case, even if they will made available, it will be in an aggregate way. We advise using other sources for getting insight into demographics of individual regions.

Q: What happens when I choose multiple categories for my project?

A: Its contribution will be assessed for multiple award categories.

Q: What are the monetary rewards?

A: The top projects in each category will be awarded a prize of 10.000 TL. The projects will be announced on the project website. Winning teams will be expected to present their work at the project workshop, which is planned for October 2018. Please check the website to keep updated about this event.

Q: Where can I access D4R Calendar?

A: The D4R Challenge schedule can be accessed via the following link from the Calendar tab under Presentation Title or via direct link d4r.turktelekom.com.tr/presentation/calendar


Welcome to the homepage of the Data for Refugees (D4R) Challenge Workshop. This workshop will gather stakeholders seeking to use Big Data for improving the living conditions of refugees. The Challenge participants will present their findings at the Workshop, and Awards will be distributed on different categories:
Health, education, social integration, unemployment, safety & security, respectively.

The presentations will be in English.

Date and Location

This workshop will take place on the 5th of November 2018 at Boğaziçi University, Albert Long Hall.

Participation and Registration

The workshop is free to attend, but security requires the names of attendees to enter the university on the day of the workshop. Please register if you like to attend.

First Name
Last Name
Tentative Program

09:00 - 09:30   Opening talks (Boğaziçi University, TUBITAK, Türk Telekom)
09:30 - 10:00   D4R Challenge Award Ceremony
10:00 - 12:00   Oral presentations from challenge participants
12:00 - 14:00   Lunch break and poster presentations from challenge participants
14:00 - 16:00   Oral presentations from challenge participants
16:00 - 17:00   Group meetings for challenge areas

Targeted Outcomes

The aim of the Workshop is to disseminate the findings of the D4R Challenge to a wider public. 31 research groups will present their results in the Workshop. The group meetings will bring the Challenge participants together to initiate a recommendations document (to be completed after the Workshop). These recommendations will be compiled in a jointly-authored chapter in the forthcoming book:

Salah, A.A., A. Pentland, B. Lepri, E. Letouze, P. Vinck, Y.A. de Montjoye, X. Dong (eds.), Guide to Mobile Data Analytics in Refugee Scenarios, Springer International, forthcoming.

Furthermore, a white paper in Turkish will be edited from the Challenge outcomes to be shared with the authorities.


Scientific Committee
Albert Ali Salah, Boğaziçi University
Alex Pentland, MIT
Bruno Lepri, FBK
Emmanuel Letouze, Data-Pop Alliance
Patrick Vinck, Harvard University
Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye, Imperial College London
Xiaowen Dong, University of Oxford

Project Evaluation Committee
Senem Özyavuz, Turk Telekom
Iyad Rahwan, MIT
Anahi Ayala Iacucci, Internews
Bülent Sankur, Boğaziçi University
Yıldırım Bahadırlar, TUBITAK BILGEM
Alex Rutherford, MIT
Claire Melamed, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Jean-Marie Garelli, UNHCR
Ahmad Garibeh, Istanbul & I
Geoffrey Charles Fox, Indiana University
Josephine Goube, Techfugees
Fırat Yaman Er, Turk Telekom
Phuong Pham, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Mithat Büyükhan, TC Ministry of Education
Mazen AboulHosn, IOM
Ömer Hakan Şimşek, TC Ministry of Health
Nona Zicherman, UNICEF
Manuel Garcia-Herranz, UNICEF
Vedran Sekara, UNICEF


Albert Ali Salah, salah@boun.edu.tr

Attention Please

PROJECT GROUPS SUBMIT PROPOSALS has been extended until March 23, 2018.