Syndicate content

Untangling the Syrian Refugee Crisis with Open Data

Leila Rafei's picture
Also available in: Español | Français | العربية

Refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and the internally displaced. For Syrians and journalists, these are the buzzwords of the moment, but I’ve been curious: are there data that can help to understand the issue better? Since I work in the department in the World Bank responsible for leading the Open Data Initiative, I thought I’d see whether there are open data resources that can help with that.

Each of the terms above describes a different way in which humans move, and all are difficult to measure. In Syria, as a result of the internal conflict, all are in evidence. Refugees need to move in order to preserve their lives or political freedom. Asylum seekers have applied for official refugee status, but haven’t received it yet. International migrants move from one country to another - generally for economic opportunity, but also if they are refugees. The internally displaced are people who have fled their homes but still reside within the borders of their original country.

Global child mortality rates have halved since 1990 - but that’s not enough to meet the MDG target

Emi Suzuki's picture
Also available in: 中文 | Español | Français | العربية

New estimates of child mortality were released today by the UN Inter-Agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME), and show the global child (under-five) mortality rate has dropped 47 percent since 1990 - from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990, to 48 in 2012. This decline represents substantial progress, but the rate of decline remains insufficient to reach Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) of a two-thirds reduction in 1990 levels by 2015.

But a closer look at the data show that just looking at the average trend hides the accelerated decline in rates in recent years. The average decline in rates was just 1.2 percent per year between 1990 and 1995, but between 2005 and 2012 there has been average annual reduction in child mortality rates of 3.9 percent. This recent progress is close to the average rate needed to be “on track” to meet MDG 4, since under-five mortality rates needs to be going down by at least 4 percent annually. 

The highest child mortality rates are in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

7 Things You May Not Know About Water

Tariq Khokhar's picture

1) Water covers 70% of the Earth, but it’s only 1/1000th of the Earth’s volume



This image from the US Geological Survey shows what would happen if all the Earth’s water - everything from oceans and seas to ice caps, lakes and atmospheric vapor - was removed from the surface and combined into a single sphere.

By volume, the Earth is about 1 trillion or 1,000 billion cubic kilometers. All of the earth’s water comes in at a thousand times smaller, in a sphere with a volume of 1.4 billion cubic kilometers and about 1,400 kilometers in diameter - that’s about the length of Madagascar.

Can our parents collect reliable and timely price data?

Nada Hamadeh's picture
Also available in: 中文 | Español | Français | العربية

During the past few years, interest in high-frequency price data has grown steadily.  Recent major economic events - including the food crisis and the energy price surge – have increased the need for timely high-frequency data, openly available to all users.  Standard survey methods lag behind in meeting this demand, due to the high cost of collecting detailed sub-national data, the time delay usually associated with publishing the results, and the limitations to publishing detailed data. For example, although national consumer price indices (CPIs) are published on a monthly basis in most countries, national statistical offices do not release the underlying price data.

 
Crowd sourced price data

Unpivoting Data with Excel, Open Refine and Python

Tariq Khokhar's picture



"How can I unpivot or transpose my tabular data so that there's only one record per row?"

I see this question a lot and I thought it was worth a quick Friday blog post.

Data often aren’t quite in the format that you want. We usually provide CSV / XLS access to our data in “pivoted” or “normalized” form so they look like this:

Pivoted Data

But for a lot analyses and applications, particularly data visualisation tools like D3, ggplot2, Tableau, it’s more convenient to have your data “unpivoted” or “denormalized” so it looks like this:

Unpivoted Data

Although this is less space efficient, space is cheap, and it means there’s always only one record per row, so you can use simple functions to access and filter data.

Here are three ways to “unpivot” or “denormalize” your data - in effect, to transpose columns to rows and have one complete record per row.

Multilingual DataBank

Reza Farivari's picture
Also available in: Español | Français | العربية

A year ago we had a post on launching a new version of the World Bank’s data query system, DataBank, offering over 9,000 indicators with which users can create custom reports with tables, charts, or maps. These live reports can then be saved, shared between users, and embedded as widgets on websites or blogs. A year later, DataBank is multilingual, offering a multilingual interface across the different databases and fully-translated data from the World Development Indicators. We’ve asked one of the founding fathers of DataBank and Open Data’s Lead Information Officer, Reza Farivari, to tell us about the tool and what to expect in the future.

It Takes a Village: Taking Open Data to an Offline Community in Indonesia

Samuel Lee's picture

This is the first of a two-part blog series on offline open data pilots recently conducted in Indonesia and Kenya. Part one focuses on Indonesia, while the subsequent blog post will describe our findings in Kenya. This series is part of a larger project on the demand for open financial data being conducted by the World Bank Group Open Finances program and World Bank Institute’s Open Contracting Partnership.

Meet Gede Darmawan and Gede Sudiadnya, who live in the village of Desa Ban in Indonesia. These two young men were a part of a story of transformation, one that saw them turn from passive receivers of information to active engagers. It was a remarkable display of the potential power of open financial data.

Gede Darmawan (age 17), Gede Sudiadnya (age 22)
Gede Darmawan (age 17), Gede Sudiadnya (age 22)

Accessing the World Bank Data APIs in Python, R, Ruby & Stata

Tariq Khokhar's picture



Developers, analysts and researchers often use our data through the APIs we provide. We’ve written about accessing World Bank data in Stata in the past, but I’m going to take a moment to survey the other language-specific libraries that I know of. From now on, unless I state otherwise, by “API”, I’m referring to our development indicators API.

I’ll list the libraries first, and then show some examples with a couple of them:

  • Python: The wbdata module by Oliver Sherouse offers easy access to all the data in our APIs. It also plays nicely with Wes McKinney’s superb ‘pandas’ analysis library. I’m less familiar with Matthew Duck’s wbpy module but it appears to offer similar functionality and also provides access to the Climate Data API.

    Edit: Vincent notes in the comments below that he's ported his R package to Python and it is now integrated directly in the Pandas library as an I/O module

  • R: The WDI module by Vincent Arel-Bundock offers convenient access to the data in our API and opens the door to using it with the awesome ggplot2 graphing library. You can also access the Climate Data API in R with rWBclimate.

  • Ruby: The world_bank_ruby gem by Justin Stoller has some nice features for bringing our data into Ruby.

  • Stata: The wbopendata module byJoão Pedro Azevedo offers access to all our data, and the worldstat modules by Damian C. Clarke builds on it to add charting and mapping features.

What does World Development Indicators tell us about South-South trade?

Wendy Ven-dee Huang's picture

Merchandise trade has become an increasingly important contributor to a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), particularly for developing countries. Before the global financial crisis hit in 2008, merchandise trade as a percent of GDP for low- and middle-income economies was 57 percent, about 5% higher than for high-income economies. This is very evident in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) where merchandise trade accounts for 73 percent of the developing region’s GDP.  Many ECA countries including Hungary, Belarus, and Bulgaria have merchandise trade to GDP ratios above 100 percent (155, 136, and 114 percent respectively in 2011), meaning merchandise exports are a large contributor to their overall economy.

Financial Management Information Systems and Open Budget Data

Cem Dener's picture

BookData openness is receiving considerable interest globally over recent years. Several countries and organizations are engaged in global discussions in this area. The International Budget Partnership (IBP) is one of the largest forums for these discussions.

In April 2010, the World Bank made its development data available for download free of charge.(2) The Open Development Technology Alliance(3) (also known as the ICT Knowledge Platform) was created to enhance accountability and improve the delivery and quality of public services through technology-enabled citizen engagement (e.g. using mobile phones, interactive-mapping and social media). The World Bank is also one of the international financial institutions taking the lead in the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) - an initiative that promotes budget transparency, public participation, and accountability globally.(4) BOOST is another useful tool developed by the World Bank for transforming detailed government expenditure data from FMIS databases into an easy-to-understand data set (XLS) for detailed analysis through pivot tables and geo-mapping tools.

Pages