These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Full Disclosure: The Aid Transparency Blog
The Dream Job of the Decade
“Data are becoming cheaper, more plentiful, and easier to access and use. What does that mean for transparency? What does it mean for development? And what does it mean for you?
According to Hal Varian, chief economist of Google, it means that you’re going to be in high demand if you have the complementary skill of making sense of large amounts of data. That’s one of the skills of data story-tellers, like Hans Rosling, and statisticians – the dream job of the decade!
A major source of the “data avalanche” has been the move to open government data. The World Bank launched its Open Data initiative on April 20 last year: Development data are now free, searchable and accessible, and the full range of data sets is listed in a catalog for bulk download and direct access.”
Global Integrity Commons
A User’s Guide to Measuring Corruption
“A Users’ Guide to Measuring Corruption is one of the first attempts to systematically explore the practical challenges and opportunities of measuring what is increasingly viewed as one of the major impediments to development: corruption. Based on a review of the literature and bolstered by more than 30 original interviews with experts in the field, A Users’ Guide provides government, civil society and the private sector with examples of “good practices” in measuring corruption.”
“Youth who pursue their interests on the Internet are more likely to be engaged in civic and political issues, according to a new study of student Internet usage by a group of civic learning scholars. Youth who use the Internet are also more likely to be exposed to diverse political viewpoints, the study shows.
The study's findings run counter to two commonly held assumptions: first, that the Internet makes exposure to divergent political viewpoints unlikely, the so-called "echo chamber" effect; and second, that the Internet promotes shallow activism among youth, so-called ‘slacktivism.’”
The Future of UK Aid
“Today International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced the key outcomes of two aid reviews and set out the results that UK aid will deliver for the world's poorest people over the next four years.
These ambitious reviews of DFID's country programmes and funding to international organisations will make Britain’s aid budget more focused and effective.”
African Business Review
Google Search requests growing 50 percent each year in Africa
“Google is recording record growth in sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting from 50 percent annual growth in search requests coming from the region. At a conference in Senegal hosted by the search engine giant, Business Development Associate Ayite Gaba also revealed that four out of every 10 Google search requests come from a mobile phone.
African Business Review has been reporting on the continent’s exponential mobile growth for quite some time now and this is just another indication of the region’s adoption of advanced communication technology.
The implementation of mobile technology has also seen social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube receive substantial hits. Facebook now receives 100,000 new Senegalese users each month according to Gaba. Twitter recently played a massive part in Egypt's revolution and the number of YouTube video plays in sub-Saharan Africa is doubling each year says Gaba.”
Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
“The 5th EITI Global Conference in Paris is now underway. Heads of states, government leaders, companies and civil society organisations are gathered today and tomorrow at the OECD in Paris to share how EITI has led to improvements in their country and how to shape the future of the EITI.
As an international forum, the Conference is a platform where EITI Board Members, International Secretariat and EITI stakeholders can discuss key issues with each other, the broader international community, while engaging new countries to join the effort in transparency over financial revenue in the extractive sectors.”
Promoting Revenue Transparency: 2011 Report on Oil and Gas Companies
“Many countries home to great resource wealth are also home to some of the world’s poorest communities. If companies were more transparent about payments made to governments to exploit oil and gas resources, there would be less room for corruption and more money available for development.
The Promoting Revenue Transparency: 2011 Report on Oil and Gas Companies,published by Transparency International in partnership with Revenue Watch, rates 44 companies on their levels of transparency. Representing 60 per cent of global oil and gas production, the companies are evaluated in three areas:
- reporting on anti-corruption programmes
- organisational disclosure
- country-level disclosure of financial and technical data.”
“We’ve seen a rapid development of the "Facebook population" in recent months, currently Facebook is past 637 million users globally. As you know and probably follow every day, we serve you the list of top countries on Facebook, but what about entire continents? How do they develop and which of them are the most progressive?”
“Recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya have been on the minds -- and on the screens -- of people around the world.
News organizations are covering the events in innovative ways, and people have noticed. More generally, the role of social media itself in protests and revolutions is also being debated. But, as Charlie Beckett writes on his blog, let’s “put aside the silly debate about whether Twitter 'caused' revolution and look instead at how it helped tell the story.” Twitter is just one platform being used to help tell the story, as we see from our conversation with Al Jazeera, one of the most innovative newsrooms in the mix.”