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World Development Indicators database updated

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Updates to external debt, Doing Business, and more

The World Development Indicators database was updated on December 15, 2011. The update features new external debt data, Doing Business and Enterprise Surveys indicators, immunization and tuberculosis series, and revised national accounts, balance of payments, monetary and government finance indicators, and education statistics. Emissions and energy-related data, including twenty new indicators, have been updated to coincide with the release of The Little Data Book on Climate Change. Most indicators are updated for 2010.

New tools to explore data on poverty and equity

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The new Poverty & Equity Data site at offers visitors easily comparable statistics that is critical for anybody seeking to keep poverty reduction on the world’s agenda.

"There’s a huge demand for this kind of data,” said Jaime Saavedra, director of the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction & Equity department. “So we’ve made an effort to make poverty statistics easier to understand for journalists, academics, students, government officials – anybody with an interest in this type of information.”

New data and tools on climate change

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How much will temperatures rise in 30, 40, or 50 years? How could changing weather affect rainfed crops in the Horn of Africa, or winter flooding and summer droughts in Uzbekistan? And what should countries do to prepare for more intense droughts and storms?

These are the kinds of questions the World Bank hopes to answer with its latest initiative to expand access to climate data and spark innovation in the fight against climate change.

Looking beyond averages in health data

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A new data set for more than 80 developing countries reveals some large differences in both health status and health service use by wealth quintile.

Improving health is central to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, but national-level estimates of progress do not reveal the disparities between different groups of the population. A new data set for more than 80 developing countries shows that there are large differences in both health status and health service use by wealth quintile in many developing countries.

Open Data: Kenya, Moldova Yield Lessons for Developing Countries

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In a world where many wealthier countries still don’t make government data easily accessible and usable by the public, Kenya and Moldova are on the cutting edge.

In the last six months, the two countries have bucked a history or perception of obfuscation to launch open data websites – where budget and census information, for example, is easily visualized and downloaded.