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April 2013

DataDive Q&A with Data Ambassadors: Tackling Poverty with Technology

Itir Sonuparlak's picture

This post is part of the Q&A Series with the Data Ambassadors from DataDive2013. You can also read an interview with the poverty data ambassadorsa recap of Data Dive 2013, and watch the presentations from the weekend.

 Carlos Teodoro Linares Carvalho

Data Ambassadors posing at the end of DataDive 2013. Photo Credit: Carlos Teodoro Linares Carvalho.

During DataDive 2013, each project had an assigned data ambassador, a leader to guide and direct the research and efforts of the teams. In the days following the DataDive, we spoke with four of the data ambassadors from the poverty projects to learn more about their experiences. Read their responses below and join the conversation in our comments section.

  • Monique Williams is an independent consultant and a statistician at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She led and represented the UNDP Resource Allocation team.
  • Nick McClellan is the web production editor for the New America Foundation and he represented the Night Illumination team.
  • Max Richman is an independent consultant who provides research and technology services to non-profits, foundations and governments focused on international development. He led the Website Scraping team.
  • Tom Levine works in data analysis and he represented the Arabic Tweets project. 

IFC Joins the Open Finances Platform

Where are IFC’s SME clients located? How much has IFC invested in infrastructure projects in Africa? How have IFC’s investments in different sectors changed and grown over time?

For the first time, users will be able to find the answers to these and many more questions about International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) work on the World Bank Group’s Open Finances website. Eight data sets with detailed information on IFC’s financial commitments and projects are now available for the public to slice, visualize and share in the ways that they choose.

Scenes from a Data Dive: The Final Presentations

Itir Sonuparlak's picture

Read our interview with the fraud and corruption data ambassadors, the poverty data ambassadors and a recap of Data Dive 2013.

Following last month's DataDive 2013, we continue our commitment to the work that started during the event. It’s astonishing to reflect on the accomplishments of a mere 24 hours of work. These events are particularly exciting and important because they bring many ideas and new possibilities to problems that seemed intractable for so long.

In case you weren’t able to attend, or if you did and would like to relive the weekend, here are videos from each team’s final presentation. Take a look for yourself and let us know which of these findings best fit your work and goals.

Scraping Websites to Collect Consumption and Price Data
Using a software technique for extracting data from websites, the presentation by Team Ndizi, which means banana in Swahili, unearthed data sources on food prices and consumption of bananas and rice in Kenya, as well as Indonesia. The team hopes that this analysis will serve as a faster and easier estimate of inflation.

Unir fuerzas para tener mejores estadísticas

Shaida Badiee's picture

Por más de 13 años, los objetivos de desarrollo del milenio (ODM) han proporcionado un punto de referencia para medir el avance hacia importantes resultados de desarrollo: poner fin a la pobreza extrema, educar a los niños, empoderar a las mujeres, reducir la mortalidad y las enfermedades y garantizar la sostenibilidad ambiental. Los ODM han contribuido a movilizar el respaldo a programas de desarrollo y han alentado medidas más coherentes por parte de los donantes y asociados.

Joining forces for better statistics

Shaida Badiee's picture

For over 13 years, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have provided a yardstick for measuring progress toward important development outcomes: eradicating extreme poverty, educating children, empowering women, reducing mortality and disease, and ensuring environmental sustainability. They have helped to mobilize support for development programs and encouraged more coherent actions on the part of donors and partners. The MDGs have also stimulated demand for better statistics and new programs to increase the capacity of developing countries to produce and use statistics. Now, as the deadline for the MDGs approaches, there is a two-pronged effort underway: first, to accelerate progress toward the MDG targets in the final “1000 days” before 2015, and second, to define a post-2015 development agenda and the timeframe and targets that will be used to monitor it.

A new help desk aims to give data users a voice

Alison J. Kwong's picture

As part of our Open Data initiative, we’ve just launched a new World Bank Data Help Desk, a platform that integrates feedback, help desk, and knowledge management tools into one easy-to-use platform. We hope it will empower users to get quicker answers to their questions, and encourage a dialogue about how to improve data for development.

Give Feedback (we want to hear from you!)

Understanding the Demand for Open Financial Data

Samuel Lee's picture

Image Credit: World Bank Flickr

Why worry about the demand for open data? 

When it comes to open data, much has been done around what we can publish, but much more can be done on identifying what others might need and want. Many open data initiatives have been started as supply-driven efforts seeking to increase transparency and leverage new information dissemination technologies - and that’s been a good way to start. However, being supply-driven is not the only way forward – a genuinely demand-driven approach would allow data providers to respond to, rather than anticipate, the data needs of users. 


So what is the demand for open data? This is a simple question that is difficult to answer. Unearthing even elements of the answer would help to increase understanding, inform the continued practical growth of open data efforts and activities, and hopefully result in more relevant, accessible, and widely-used data.