The opaque institutions around us are becoming semitransparent, in ways that people care about. Twenty years ago, if you bought a tube of toothpaste, it might have had the address of the manufacturer so you can write to it if you had questions. Then they added a toll-free number. Now it includes a Web site, and you can find out more about the ingredients. And there are third-party Web sites, like a project called Barcode Wikipedia, where information is posted that the manufacturer might not want to volunteer: for example, where products are manufactured, and whether children are used in the factories.
So is the development sector becoming “semitransparent” – and what can be done to help speed up the process? Bring your ideas to the International Development Data Barcamp on July 10th. From the event’s official invite:
We are getting closer to the day when anyone can easily determine who is doing what, where they are doing it, what they have learned, and who is funding them. Come join a group of interested organizations to brainstorm about how to advance the conversation about making aid more transparent, improving access to data, and making knowledge and tools related to development easier to find on the internet.
Kudos to Sameer and colleagues for making this happen.