Supporting data for development: applications open for a new innovation fund


This page in:

Image credit: The Crowd and The Cloud

I’m pleased to announce that applications are now open for the second round of a new data innovation fund which was announced last month at the UN’s High Level Political Forum.

The fund will invest up to $2.5 million in Collaborative Data Innovations for Sustainable Development - ideas to improve the production, management and use of data in poor countries. This year the fund’s thematic areas are “Leave No One Behind” and the environment.

Details on eligibility, criteria and how to apply are here:

The initiative is supported by the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB) with financing from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Government of Korea and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland. DFID is the largest contributor to the TFSCB.

Supporting statistics for development

Here in the World Bank’s Development Data group, we’re looking forward to working with the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) again following a successful pilot round of innovation funding last year. But you might be asking - why is the World Bank’s Data team helping to run a data innovation fund?

We’re best known outside the organization for producing databases like World Development Indicators or running the Bank’s Open Data Initiative but that’s only half our story. We not only analyze, visualize and publish data - we work with countries to help them better produce and manage it.

We provide advice. For example, earlier this year, our economic statistics team visited Nepal to assist the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in compiling their national accounts data - a key part of publishing accurate GDP figures. The team included economists, statisticians and national accounts experts who were able to assess the CBS’s current data, methodologies and organizational setup and set out a program to improve them.

We provide tools. In survey work, we recently marked a milestone - in the last 4 years, governments, civil society and the private sector in 94 countries have used the Survey Solutions platform our team develops for carrying out more than 5 million interviews in about 500 national surveys. From conflict-affected South Sudan to remote areas of Pakistan and Niger, the system has been used for a range of surveys from large and complex multi-topic household and agricultural surveys to  labor force, enterprise, and price surveys among others.

We provide financing. Since its establishment in 1999, the Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity building we manage has supported more than 200 projects in every region of the world. It’s one of many financial instruments the Bank has to support data work in countries, and as part of President Jim Yong Kim’s 2015 commitment to improve the state of poverty data in the world’s poorest countries, the TFSCB has supported close to 40 countries with funding and technical assistance to improve their household surveys.

Why an innovation fund for data?

From the examples above, you can see we’re involved in a range of statistical capacity work,  and it’s often about ensuring core data are produced in a timely manner, to a good standard.

Open Data Watch identified some $330M worth of aid funding went into statistics work worldwide in 2016. But this figure is about half of what the GPSDD’s resource mobilization working group estimates is needed to produce just the main SDG indicators.

Not only is there a shortfall in funding for data - there’s also limited funding for innovation and experimentation in how data can be produced, managed and used. That’s where this innovation fund comes in. We’re looking for both innovations in technology and innovations in approach that will make an ongoing difference to a country’s statistical system.

Many governments, companies, researchers and citizen groups are experimenting, innovating and adapting to the new world of data. But many others are excluded because of a lack of resources, knowledge, capacity or opportunity. This is especially a concern in poorer countries - this innovation fund targets priority issues in the countries that most need support. We very much look forward to seeing your ideas and proposals.

Further information about the data innovation fund

Press release from GPSDD: 
Link to online application system:​ 
Please direct any questions to [email protected]


Haishan Fu

Director, Development Economics Data Group, World Bank Group

Join the Conversation

Muhammad Zarar
August 04, 2017

Great Initiative, it will pave the way to assess the impact of development projects on each of the 17 SDGs separately and further develop the science of SDGs Metrics to workout projects with maximum impact.

Dr.Mohamed Taher Abdelrazik Hamada, Ph.D
August 04, 2017

Encouraging private sectors to invest in poorer countries , can help to provide
the right innovation in technology .One can not underestimate the abilities of the
private sectors , if it works with the public sectors , the private sectors include
the indigenous people whose population seek an opportunity for development.
Private sectos in poorer countries should be trusted and enabled to share in
development on scientific means .
This approach matches with the moto " Leave No One behind".
The world Bank with it's experts , researchers, and citizen groups can defenitiely help to build a bridge of trust between the private sectors and
the public sectors that are resprented in the assigned country. The World Bank
formula of (PPPS) is strong indicator of the World Bank efforts all over the globe.
Yours Very Respectfully,
Dr. Mohamed Taher Abdelrazik Hamada, Ph.D
Retired Professor at Strayer University, USA
4 Mohamed Koriem, St,.
Kafrelsheikh, Egypt
Cell Phone 00101061068855
Home Phone 0010473224392

August 06, 2017

Papua New Guinea is one of the country which every low and middle class people are facing relative poverty every day. Our stastical report for the total population does not update the new figure of previous population of 6.5 million people. I have learnt that earning as an average income earner does not meet my weekly needs and expanse. So how will I contribute to fight this poverty by working with you.
Thank you and looking forward to your response,
Jason Dom

perez kashekyebwa
August 06, 2017

Its really a tremendous effort made by world bank and i shall provide information concerning my subcounty in lyantonde district,uganda

Yolik Oquendo
August 11, 2017

Me gustaría formar parte de esos proyectos para apoyar y ofrecerles mis conocimientos y experiencias..! Para ello quisiera tener la información de cómo podría participar...! Mil gracias...! Soy venezolana...!

jose francisco galvez portocarrero
August 12, 2017

Muchaz veces las soluciones son sencillas y mas faciles de Lograr de lo que parecen

Jessica Pesantez
August 12, 2017

I have some ideas in mind. I would like more information about this project.

Liz Perez
August 12, 2017

En Bolivia hay una ciudad que se sumerge en contaminación de todos los tipos, debido a explosión demográfica aún desenfrenada desde al menos 15 años. La gente que llegó puso su imaginación y habilidad para generar industria precaria en textiles, transporte masivo descontrolado y gran cantidad de contaminantes que a su ve generaron empleo para los más pobres. Servicios básicos deplorables, barrios enteros sin alcantarilla, la ciudad entera huele alcantarilla. Sumado a esto la topografía, gran sequía de años, se estan secando las fuentes de agua. Este panorama parece haber generado indiferencia e impotencia. Pero Cochabamba es una bomba de tiempo, por ello quisiera sistematizar información ya existente, generar otra necesaria y plantear alternativas para políticas públicas junto a una institución universitaria CESU. Podría interesarles este tema?

Sergio Edmundo Diez Comas
August 12, 2017

Muy buena noticia saludos desde Melo Cerro Largo Uruguay !

Guido Espinola
August 12, 2017

Buenas Quisiera poner mi punto de vista sobre la forma que los Paises miden la inflación como parametros de poder adquisitivo de la población en mi Pais el Paraguay el banco central saca la inflación para mi ficticias ya que los precios aumentan a diarios y el indice de inflación nada se mueve me pareve que en un Pais como la nuestra lo que toda nuestra sociedad consume son los productos de consumo masivo y de ellos abría que sacar referencias y no de todo un conjuntos de productos o precios que no se adecuan al mercado por que no es la que la mahoria consume si no un par de personas EL PARAMETRO DE LO CUAL SE TOMA REFERENCIAS NO SON LAS QIE REALMENTE SE CONSUMEN OTRA COSA LAS ENCUESTAS SE HACEN SIN LA PREPARACION DE LOS ENCUESTADORES Y LA CAMPAÑA MEDIATICA NECESARIA se toman datos irrelevantes como no se exije datos muy relevantes las encuestas las hacen jovenes sin responsabilidad la mayoria por ende no entienden de la importacias de los datos recabados

August 13, 2017

I do appreciate that our rural communities benefit from all the deeds By the bank.

August 13, 2017

Si el objetivo es conocer los temas prioritarios en los países más pobres, como pueden dar a conocer las personas que no hablan inglés los temas que más les aquejan, si el link indicado no tiene la opción de español?…
Con esta observación, es necesario sean incluyentes casa adentro partiendo del link de los criterios de elegibilidad.

August 13, 2017

Por favor en link que indican pueda leerse también en español…

August 14, 2017

muy muy buena propuesta....gracias a todos ...en latinoamerica nos sera muy util.....EXITOS

Tiko Elvis Mongomi
August 16, 2017

I strongly desire to be an active participant in this project. Am a Cameroon national and a holder of master in educational psychology.

August 16, 2017

Proyecto de capacitación en el rescate de Artes precolombinos en cerámica. Inclusión en la cadena productiva de adulto mayor y personas con discapacidad en la paz bolivia

heri Matwali
September 08, 2017

Bonjour, je suis technicien en développement rural et durable , j'habite la r.d Congo, j'observe et je m'intéresse à toute initiative de développement qui a pour objectif d'améliorer le niveau de vie de la population. Je souhaite vous soumettre un projet de création d'une banque populaire de crédit agricole , celle-ci consiste à promouvoir toute initiative d'agriculture en vue de lutter contre le chômage, la famine, et les maladies dues à la malnutrition. Contrairement aux banques financières, celle-ci n'accordera que des intrants agricoles, des semences, des géniteurs, des produits phytosanitaires, et des machines de conservation de transformation des produits agricoles. Les détails, la faisabilité, de ce projet vous seront donnés si ces idées trouvent faveur à vos yeux. Cordialement.

Fredo Mamiah
September 29, 2017

Il est intéressant de renforcer les capacités cognitive et instrumentales pour fiabiliser la porté technique et productif des données. En effet, dans un contexte où en Afrique subsaharienne l'information est biaisée voir opaque par les gouvernants et les administrations publiques et para publiques de ses pays, il est fort utile non seulement d'inciter sur le volet vulgarisation et technicité des données dans la performance des politiques publiques, ce qui in-fine, améliorera la gouvernance statistique à ce niveau, les données étant pris dans un environnement transsectoriel et systémique. L'apport de la Banque mondiale serait fort intéressante pour favoriser ce type de gouvernance via des projets cadres en incitant les pouvoirs publique et les administrations d'y participer.