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World Bank joins initiative to open up health research data

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The World Bank has joined public and charitable funders in a new initiative to allow researchers and members of the scientific community to easily access public health data.

Much of the data collection that could improve public health research is expensive and time-consuming. Funders of this research believe that making research data sets available to investigators beyond the original research team in a timely and responsible manner, subject to appropriate safeguards, will generate three key benefits:

New data visualizers for trade data

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In September 2010, the World Bank launched the new web-based World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS) system. The WITS software has been developed by the World Bank, in close collaboration and consultation with various international organizations, including United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Trade Center (ITC), United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD), and World Trade Organization (WTO).

World Statistics Day recognized the important role of official statistics in policy-making for development

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“Statistics are a vital tool for economic and social development, including our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. For development to succeed, we need data collection and statistical analysis of poverty levels, access to education and the incidence of disease. Statistics are a central consideration in justifying almost every aspect of budgets and programmes that enable hungry children to be fed or that provide shelter and emergency health care for victims of natural disasters.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

MDG Summit 2010

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"We must not fail the billions who look to the international community to fulfill the promise of the Millennium Declaration for a better world.”

-- UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on world leaders to attend a summit in New York on September 20-22, 2010 to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

Aidflows: New transparency of aid flows from donors to beneficiaries

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The World Bank Group and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) have partnered to make global data on aid funding more easily accessible.  Aidflows offers new transparency about the flow of development funds from countries providing aid resources (donors) to countries receiving these funds (beneficiaries).  This initiative is part of ongoing efforts to enhance

World Development Indicators database updated

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The World Development Indicators (WDI) database has been recently updated. Economic indicators for national accounts (including gross domestic product and gross national income), balance of payments, government finance, monetary, trade, and private financial flows have all been updated to 2009 for most countries. Population and related indicators have also been updated to 2009. And all of the education statistics have been updated as well.

Announcing the Apps for Development Competition

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As part of the World Bank's Open Data Initiative, World Bank President Robert Zoellick kicked off the Apps for Development Competition on October 7th, 2010 that will challenge the developer community to create tools, applications, and mash-ups using World Bank data.

Please check the Apps for Development contest Web site for complete contest details.

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