Ayesha Ali has received two prestigious grants

Dr. Ayesha Ali (Assistant Professor, Economics) and Ihsan Ayyub Qazi (Associate Professor, Computer Science) have received a grant from Facebook for the project, Understanding the Impact of Digital Literacy on Misinformation in Pakistan.

Summary: The increasing availability of low-cost mobile phones and mobile Internet access in emerging markets has led to widespread use of social media platforms such as such as Facebook and WhatsApp, making them an important source of news and place for social and political activity. This trend has brought many new users online including those with limited exposure to technology. Unfortunately, we are concurrently observing an increasing trend in the spread of misinformation on such platforms. The spread of misinformation may lead to polarization, while also affecting the beliefs and actions of users without a prior ideological leaning such as undecided voters. As part of this work, we will conduct a survey to understand how factors, such as digital literacy, social media use, and social network characteristics affect the spread of misinformation in emerging countries like Pakistan. To correlate user characteristics with the spread of misinformation, we will present users with news stories and ask them if they would believe it and share it. Finally, we will conduct a randomized control trial to study the impact of two interventions for countering misinformation: (1) general information provision through infographics or videos to make users more aware of the misinformation phenomenon; and (2) specific information about users own past behavior related to misinformation.


Dr. Ayesha Ali (Assistant Professor, Economics), Muhammad Hamad Alizai (Computer Science) and Klaus Wehrle (Aachen University, Germany) have received a grant from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) for the project, Greenifying Older Buildings in Emerging Countries.

Summary: Rapid and often unplanned urbanization in emerging countries has resulted in great stress on resources such as electricity, gas, and water, which are essential part of modern living. At the same time these resources are being consumed in a context in which infrastructure is old and leads to unnecessary wastage. In this research, we plan to conduct a baseline survey to identify inefficient resource usage at the level of urban buildings. We will design an integrated resource management system that leverages existing elements in the building without requiring extensive upgradation. We will study the impact of implementing this system on consumer behaviour, resource usage, exposure to safety hazards, incidence of illness, as well as overall user satisfaction