Cross posted from the End Poverty in South Asia blog
It has been a season ripe with new ideas and shifts in the open data conversation. At the Cartagena Data Festival in April, the call for a country-led data revolution was loud and clear. Later in June at the 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa there was an emphasis on the use of open data-beyond mere publishing.
Mulling on these takeaways, a logical question to ask may be: what would a country-focused data project that aims to put data to use look like?
On average, it took 20 days to start a business in 2015 vs 51 in 2003. The 2016 edition of Doing Business finds that low and middle income countries are making big strides in improving business climates. Notably, a total of 45 economies, 33 of which were developing economies, undertook reforms to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business. The report presents quantitative data on 189 economies, including many city-level analyses. You can download the report and the data behind it from the Doing Business website.
Today’s celebration of World Statistics Day comes right after Sunday’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, last month’s UN General Assembly agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals and the launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.
A common thread? Better data leads to better lives.
World Statistics Day celebrates the role of statistics, the institutions and individuals that produce them, and the impact they have in designing and monitoring the policies and services that can improve people’s wellbeing.
There are some big gaps in country-level data - gaps in what we know. That’s why we’re working with our partners to identify priority investments to close these gaps.
The areas we’ll initially focus on include: ensuring universal civil registration of births and deaths; improving economic statistics; expanding the coverage of household surveys in the world’s poorest countries; and taking advantage of new technologies and data sources to improve data production and use.
So without further ado, my colleages around the Bank have put together 17 statistics that stand out for them - some you may know, some you may not, all of them related to the Sustainable Development Goals:
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Africa Open Data Conference in Dar es Salaam. Over 450 participants from 39 countries (including 24 African countries) attended the conference, whose sponsors included the Government of Tanzania, Code for Africa, the Open Data for Development Network, USAID, Twaweza, the World Bank and many other sponsors and partners. There is a summary of conference activity posted on Storify if you’re interested in checking it out.
The most significant takeaway for me was the combination of high-level engagement and participation of African governments alongside a community of talented and highly engaged local citizens. The opening keynote speech was delivered by the President of Tanzania himself, Dr Jakaya Kikwete, whose presence was announced by the presidential brass band. After his opening speech, the President spent nearly an hour meeting and talking with several of the local groups who were present in the exhibit area. Other African governments were well represented in the ensuing sessions.
End Poverty Day tomorrow comes among heightened discussion about poverty’s causes, its measurement and what we can do to end it.
The international extreme poverty line has been updated to $1.90/day, the recent Global Monitoring Report projects that the number of people living below this line will fall below 10% this year, and the Bank has just announced it’s stepping up efforts to boost data collection in the poorest countries, many of which suffer from “data deprivation”.
New Poverty Data Widget
These headlines are great, but how do you actually get to the data? If you want to quickly find how many people live below the international poverty line in a given country, you can use and embed this new widget that’s connected to the World Bank’s PovCalNet database:
4 more ways of accessing poverty data
Here are some other tools I find useful for accessing poverty data:
The share of the global population that is working-age has peaked at 66% and is now on the decline. The share of the elderly is anticipated to almost double to 6% by 2050, while the global count of children is stabilizing at 2 billion. Read more.
We’ve also produced a series of “understanding poverty” video explainers that go into poverty lines, poverty measurement, purchasing power parities (PPPs), why we're updating the international poverty line to $1.90/day and some highlights from the newly released data. You can watch all 5 videos in the playlist below: