ISI World Statistics Congress 2021
Invited Paper Sessions on using Mobile Phone Data for Official Statistics

  • Virtual
  • July 2021

Exploring Statistics on Tourism, Migration, Population and Displacements by Using Mobile Positioning Data


In the tourism sector, it is important to know the proportion of domestic versus foreign tourists, the origin of the foreign tourists and the places or attractions visited. While surveys can only provide some answers, mobile phone data can provide many more insights, like internal migration or on returning migrants. Further, local and national governments need to know (for emergency situations) how many residents are present in certain areas at daytime, night-time and during the weekends. Commuting patterns are important for public transportation and road infrastructure. In all those cases, mobile phone data can now help giving more detailed, more frequent and very timely information.

The penetration of mobile phones has been increasing over the past decades in all areas of the world: in developed and developing countries, both in urban and rural areas. Mobile phone data have become a valuable source of information for national statistical offices. The statistical community created a task team in 2015 (under the umbrella of the United Nations) to specifically investigate how mobile phone data could be used for estimating official statistics and the Sustainable Development Goal indicators.

This task team consists of experts from statistical offices, private sector, academia and not-for-profit service providers. Together they develop methodological guidance and training materials, which are shared with the whole statistical community. Many of the members of the task team are actively working on projects at country level to derive indicators, which are used by governments for policy purposes.

In this session we will have a joint presentation from the statistical offices of Indonesia and Georgia on application of mobile phone data for Tourism and Migration statistics, a presentation by Positium on dynamic population statistics and a joint presentation of the University of Tokyo with Flowminder on displacement statistics. The discussant is Dunstan Matekenya, World Bank.


Chair: Esperanza Magpantay (ITU)
Discussant: Dunstan Matekenya (World Bank)

Dynamic population mapping derived from mobile positioning data
  • Siim Esko (Positium)

What are the similarities and differences in deriving migration and tourism statistics from mobile positioning data?
  • Mariana Jalagonia (National Statistics Office of Georgia - GEOSTAT)
  • Titi Kanti Lestari (BPS Statistics Indonesia)

Displacement and disaster indicators derived from mobile positioning data
  • Ayumi Arai (University of Tokyo)
  • VĂ©ronique Lefebvre (Flowminder Foundation)

Towards 2030 Agenda:
The Use of Mobile Data to Measure SDGs Indicators on Information Society


For IPS 179, Esperanza Magpantay will be the Chair, then Erki Saluveer present on methodologies to measure SDGs 17.8.1 and 9.c.1 using mobile data, followed by Maria Bueno on Brazil case in Rio de Janerio and Alfatihah Reno on Indonesia case (both 17.8.1 and 9.c.1). Siim Esko will be the discussant. The general format for the session is the following:


Chair: Esperanza Magpantay (ITU)
Discussant: Siim Esko (Positium)

Introduction of panellists, session objectives, and key issues for reflection and discussion
  • Esperanza Magpantay (ITU)

Present the data sources, QA, methodology (calculation/estimation procedure), calibration
  • Erki Saluveer (Positium)

Present on the use of mobile data for SDGs 17.8.1 and 9.c.1 in Brazil (Greater Rio de Janeiro) and way forward
  • Maria Bueno (IBGE Brazil)

Present on the use of mobile data for SDGs 17.8.1 and 9.c.1 in Indonesia, VNR submission and way forward
  • Alfatihah Reno (BPS-Statistics Indonesia)

  • Siim Esko (Positium)

Conclusions and wrap up
  • Esperanza Magpantay (ITU)