Cider is a set of software tools for targeting poverty with mobile phone data. It was developed jointly by the Global Policy Lab at UC Berkeley, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at UC Berkeley, and the non-profit GiveDirectly. Download Cider from github.
Cider is based on the poverty targeting methods described in Aiken et al. (2022). A goal of cider is to make these methods easier to use and replicable across contexts. A second goal is making it straightforward to compare targeting methods, including the phone-based approach built by cider: while the empirical results on the accuracy of the phone-based approach in Aiken et al. (2022) are promising, it is still not known how the phone-based approach compares to alternatives across contexts.
Because cider works on digital data, it has two significant strengths: it can identify and reach people rapidly (speed) and do so on the order of millions of people (scale). Therefore, emergencies such as large-scale shocks like famines and flooding that require speed and scale may be the most natural use cases for cider. It may also be possible to combine the phone-based approach in cider with alternative and more traditional approaches to poverty targeting; a blog post by CEGA and GiveDirectly discusses the beginnings of such a complementary approach.