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February 2017

Chart: How Did a TV Series Affect Sexual Behavior?

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Español | Français

Edutainment, or the use of mass media entertainment to educate people, can promote positive behavior change. An experimental study in Nigeria finds that young people who watched the MTV Shuga drama series were twice as likely to get an HIV test, and half as likely to have multiple concurrent sexual partners. Chlamydia infections also dropped by 58% among women who watched the show. 

Read more about the evaluation of the MTV Shuga Soap Opera.

Chart: Marine Catches Have Stagnated While Fish Farming has Grown

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: العربية | 中文 | Français | Español

While aquaculture, or fish farming, has grown in recent years, the global marine catch has stagnated since the early 1990s. Almost 90 percent of marine fisheries assessed by the FAO were considered fully-fished or over-fished in 2013. A new report (PDF 2.1MB) estimates that the sector could generate an additional $83 billion in net annual benefits if it moved to a more optimal level of fishing, while improving the size, quality and sustainability of fish harvest.


Read more in "The Sunken Billions Revisited : Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries"

Meet four women leading the drive for open data in Africa

David Mariano's picture

Editor’s note: This is a guest blog from Jeni Tennison, CEO at the Open Data Institute. This article was first published by This is Africa on 17th January 2017​.

 
Nkechi Okwuone

Across Africa, innovators are using open data to gain greater insight into local issues, and create new public services. From government open data platforms to startup accelerator programmes, open data is increasingly recognised as a tool for tackling challenges across a range of sectors including health, education and agriculture.

This autumn, in six cities across South Africa the Responsive Cities Challenge encouraged designers and entrepreneurs to use open data to develop solutions that will improve local government services. Meanwhile, in Burkina Faso, the CartEau project is using open data to map safe drinking water points and latrines across the country for the first time. These examples show how open data is a powerful vehicle for addressing complex problems.

Increasing digital connectivity is important for economic growth, education and democratic participation but the equalising force of the Web is only meaningful when everyone is included in the digital sphere. According to the Web Foundation, women face disproportionate barriers to access, with poor women in urban areas in 10 developing countries they looked at 50% less likely to be connected to the Internet than men in the same age group.

Open data – data anyone can access, use or share – is transformative infrastructure for a digital economy that is consistently innovating and bringing the benefits of the Web to society. Open data often goes hand in hand with open working cultures and open business practices. While this culture lends itself to diversity, it is important that those who are involved in open data make sure it addresses everyone's needs. It is therefore encouraging to see that open data initiatives in African countries are being led by women.

Hugs and databases: in memory of Hans Rosling

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Hans Rosling in 2014. Credit: TED.

For millions of us, Swedish Professor and self-described “Edutainer” Hans Rosling opened our eyes to a world we live in, but had never seen before.

Professor Rosling, who passed away last week was best known for his theatrical presentations that brought data to life with stories and visualizations which he hoped would change people’s mindsets and improve their understanding of the world.

Rosling, trained as a statistician and physician in the late 1970s, spent two decades studying outbreaks of konzo in rural areas across Africa. It was only in the 2000s he turned his attention to another type of disease - one which prevents knowledge locked away in datasets from being put to work for the public good.

He called it “Database Hugging Disorder” or “DBHD.” And the World Bank, along with other development organizations, had a chronic case of it.

Chart: Public Transport in African Cities Often Unaffordable

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: 中文

The typical household in many African cities cannot afford public transport fares. According to a new report, public transport in Sub-Saharan Africa's major cities is dominated by informal minibuses, and is expensive relative to household budgets making it largely unaffordable on a daily basis, especially for the poorest.

Read more in the new report "Africa’s Cities - Opening Doors to the World"

Things to do with Trade and Competitiveness Data… thank you API

Alberto Sanchez Rodelgo's picture

Who are Spain's neighbors? Is Canada closer to Spain than Portugal? What about Estonia or Greece? The answer? Depends on the data you are looking at!

Earlier this week I crunched data based on a selected list of indicators from the new Open Trade and Competitiveness platform from the World Bank (TCdata360) and found some interesting trends[1]. In 2009 Spain was closer to economies like Estonia, Belgium, France and Canada while 6 years later in 2015, Spain's closest neighbors were Greece and Portugal. How and when did this shift happen?

Other trends I spotted using the same data? It seems the Sub-Saharan region ranks the lowest in Ease of Doing Business, that in 2007 Israel held the record for R&D expenditure as % of GDP, while in the same year Malta topped FDI net inflows as % GDP, and that the largest annual GDP growth in the last 20 years occurred in Equatorial Guinea in 1997.

Figure 1: Dots represent values for an economy at a given point in time for years 1996 to 2016 overlaying their box-plot distributions. Colors correspond to geographical regions.

Chart: Latin America Has the World's Highest Homicide Rates

Tariq Khokhar's picture
Also available in: Español | العربية | 中文

Latin American and the Caribbean accounts for only 8 percent of the world’s population, but for 37 percent of the world’s homicides. Eight out of the 10 most violent countries in the world are in the region, where there were an average of 24 homicides per 100,000 people per year in 2012. Read more in "Stop the Violence in Latin America"

Non-tradable sector wages track high-skilled tradable sector wages

Oscar Calvo-González's picture
Also available in: Español | Portuguese

Recent data on hourly wages in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) reveal that Latin Americans working in the non-tradable sector (as in construction, transportation, hotels, or education) earn much more than workers in low-skill tradable sectors such as agriculture or low-tech manufacturing, and closer to high-skill workers in the tradable sector such as high-tech manufacturing or finance. Despite slight variations across countries, in 11 out of 17 countries studied, the difference between wages in low-skill tradable and non-tradable sectors has grown over the last ten years.[1] In most of these countries, hourly wages display a distinct trend: positive growth for high-skill tradable and non-tradable wages, and stagnating, or even declining for low-skill tradable wages.
 

Graph showing trends in non-tradable wages in Latin America

Source: World Bank's LAC Equity Lab