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Multilaterals join forces on data for the post-2015 agenda

Haeduck Lee's picture

As the “Data Revolution” takes shape, Multilateral Development Banks, the UN, and IMF have already begun to improve their collaboration on development data.

This process was launched on April 19, 2013, when Heads of these institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets out the basis for enhanced collaboration in statistical activities. In short, the MOU is part of the global response to the evidence focus of the post-2015 agenda, and the eagerness for policy makers to accelerate the quantity, quality, availability, and usability of data for development. 

What would a Global Partnership for a Data Revolution look like?

Grant Cameron's picture
Also available in: 中文 | Español | Français | العربية
//openclipart.org/detail/168029The post-2015 agenda will focus on evidence.  The mantra “funding for what works” is gaining momentum, and policy makers are eager for better data to design actions and monitor performance. The high-level panel on the post-2015 development agenda puts this clearly: it wants to see a global “data revolution”. 

A revolution needs revolutionaries (and here are a couple of genuine data pioneers). But how can diverse groups around the world come together to help make development data better? The panel proposes a new “Global Partnership on Development Data”; this post proposes a first idea of how this might work and how it might differ from past efforts. I’d like to know what you think.

Liberen Los Datos: Supporting Entrepreneurial Open Data Do-Gooders

Sandra Moscoso's picture
Also available in: Español | Français | 中文 | العربية

The open data community is chock-full of do-gooders. 
 
There are "open" data-driven applications that track government legislation in the US, tools that help calculate taxi fares in Bogota, Colombia, applications that track how tax payer funds are spent in the UK, the state of school sanitation in Nepal, and many more. 
 
It's clear that innovators are out there and full of terrific ideas about how to help their fellow citizens by harnessing public data. The question is, how can more of these projects follow examples like GovTrack and transition from hobby to successful, sustainable business models? And while there may be technical talent out there, what about entrepreneurial skills? How many data rockstars out there also have the "courage to create a business"?
 

Energy, Emissions and Elevation: 6 Quick Climate Facts

Tim Herzog's picture
Today, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a major report that raises the panel’s certainty that human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, is the cause of much of the warming seen in recent years. The World Bank recently updated its data on estimate carbon dioxide emissions along with many other climate relevant indicators in the World Development Indicators. Here are some interesting takeaways from the data:
 

The World's CO2 emissions grew 4.9% in 2010


That's the 3rd largest annual increase since 1990 (early estimates of 2011 and 2012 emissions show further global increases since 2010, but not quite as large). Nationally, China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan continue to be the top 5 emitters. It's also notable that in 2010 South Korea surpassed Canada in 8th place, and South Africa fell out of the top 10 with an emissions drop of almost 3 percent.

Untangling the Syrian Refugee Crisis with Open Data

Leila Rafei's picture
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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
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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
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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
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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.

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