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PDRI-DevLab Spring 2024 Seminar Series: Kevin Munger

PDRI-DevLab is hosting a Spring 2024 Seminar Series featuring its staff and affiliates.

Topic: Bridging the Digital Divide: Data Access and Integration of Venezuelan Migrants in Colombia

Presenter: Kevin Munger (joint with Nejla Asimovic and Mateo Vásquez Cortés)

Session Details:

The crisis in Venezuela has forced nearly two million people to seek refuge in Colombia, creating significant challenges for both the displaced individuals and the Colombian government. A notable hurdle is the limited internet access that impedes the acquisition of crucial information on government programs, economic opportunities, and social networks. In collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action Colombia and the National Planning Department of Colombia, we measure how improved data access influences their awareness of assistance programs, trust in the government, success in the job market, and overall well-being. The intervention provides mobile data credits to a selected sample of Venezuelan migrants in Colombia who currently lack internet access. A subgroup receives WhatsApp messages directly from a moderator trained by Colombian government officials, some in groups with other migrants and others directly from the moderator. Our aim is to inform policies that strengthen connections between migrants and host countries, while taking advantage of the widespread use of WhatsApp to enhance public service delivery.

This session will be a seminar-style presentation of 40 minutes followed by Q&A of 20 minutes. Participants are not required to read a paper beforehand.

For more information, reach out to


Kevin Munger

Kevin Munger is the Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor of Political Science and Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Data Analytics at Penn State University. He studies the communication of political information on the internet, and how to make digital social science make sense.