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April 2010

Open data measures progress

World Bank Data Team's picture

The World Bank is excited to announce its new open data initiative, bringing global economic and development data to the web for the world to use.

As part of the open data initiative, the Bank today launches data.worldbank.org, a Web site that provides free, open and easy access to statistics and indicators about development. Visitors to the site can easily find, download, manipulate, use, and re-use the data compiled by the World Bank, without restrictions.

World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010 released

World Bank Data Team's picture

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2010 — The World Development Indicators (WDI) 2010, released today, gives a statistical progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The WDI database, launched along with the World Bank’s Open Data initiative to provide free data to all users, includes more than 900 indicators documenting the state of all the world’s economies. The WDI covers education, health, poverty, environment, economy, trade, and much more.

Spring meetings for the rest of us

Ryan Hahn's picture

Haven't received your all-access pass to the World Bank Group's spring meetings? You can still get a taste of the action. Danny Leipziger, a former Vice President of the World Bank and now a professor at George Washington University, is leveraging off the meetings to organize an event taking place this Monday at the George Washington University.

Procurement Monitoring by Citizens: Is it Effective?

Sabina Panth's picture

According to the International Budget Partnership, developing countries spend $820 billion a year on procurement-related transactions.  These expenditures are critical for the delivery of goods and services but they are also extremely vulnerable to corruption. Transparency International estimates that $400 Billion is lost to bribery and corruption in public procurement internationally (2006).  Procurement monitoring is an emerging area, where citizens’ involvement has been experimented to address the impending waste and corruption in public procurement. 

Open Data in French, Spanish, and Arabic Levels Research Playing Field, Empowers NGOs

Edith Wilson's picture

The World Bank’s data will now be available in French, Spanish and Arabic! This is huge.  It is going to empower local researchers, academics, grad students and civil society in a whole new way.  It changes the game for measuring government performance and pushing for openness. 

Dr. Abdelkhalek Touhami, an open data advocate in Morocco and researcher, was interviewed for his reactions to the World Bank’s announcement.

Here are the main points he made (summarized by me):

Expanding the Bounds

Naniette Coleman's picture

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

THEN THEY CAME for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Are women more disadvantaged than men in the informal sector?

Mohammad Amin's picture

A recent study by La Porta and Shleifer (2008) estimates that for the world as a whole, between 23 and 35 percent of all economic activity occurs in the informal or the unregistered sector; for the poorest countries the figure is even higher—estimates range between 29 and 57 percent. We also have anecdotal evidence that women entrepreneurs and workers constitute a much higher proportion of the informal than the formal sector.


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