World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim recently announced ambitious goals to end poverty and boost shared prosperity, with a target to reduce the percentage of absolute poor – those living on or less than $1.25 a day (in 2005 PPP) – to 3 percent by 2030. The Bank, he said, will also focus on expanding opportunities for those living at the bottom 40 percent of the income or consumption distribution in each country.
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 ambassadors, a recap of Data Dive 2013, and watch the presentations from the weekend.
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.
Last month, while World Bank President Jim Yong Kim launched the gender data portal, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked that “data not only measures progress, it inspires it”. Indeed when data is both relevant and effectively communicated, it can help to inform policies, identify challenges, and catalyze changes and innovations that deliver development results.
With that goal in mind, we started an Open Data Lab. One of our objectives is to help the development community become more effective data communicators by experimenting with different data visualization techniques and tools. The human brain finds it easier to process data and information if it is presented as an image rather than raw numbers or words. And visualizations that let and encourage users to interact with data can deepen their understanding of the information presented.