Despite hundreds of millions spent on more and better household surveys across Africa in recent decades, we only have a very rough idea about the levels and trends in income poverty and inequality in sub-Saharan Africa. Many reasons contribute to this unfortunate state of affairs.
These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Pew Research Internet Project
As Internet experts look to the future of the Web, they have a number of concerns. This is not to say they are pessimistic: The majority of respondents to this 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing say they hope that by 2025 there will not be significant changes for the worse and hindrances to the ways in which people get and share content online today. And they said they expect that technology innovation will continue to afford more new opportunities for people to connect. Still, some express wide levels of concern that this yearning for an open Internet will be challenged by trends that could sharply disrupt the way the Internet works for many users today as a source of largely unfettered content flows.
Good Governance- A Sustainable Development Goal Too Essential To Be Side-lined
What do the public in the USA, UK, France and Germany consider the greatest impediment to global development? According to new research by the Gates Foundation and partners released at the InterAction forum last month called the Narrative Project, the answer is corruption. Additionally, a recent Gallup poll showed that, around the world, satisfaction with "freedom" is inversely proportional to the perception of corruption in a given country. The answer to corruption is good governance, at the national and local levels. But governance goes well beyond just stopping corruption. It is the cornerstone of individual freedom, political participation, secures the rights of the individual and the media, and makes politicians accountable to their constituencies.
DataBank is a data retrieval, analysis, and visualization tool that allows users to create, save, and share custom charts, tables, and maps. We launched the tool two years ago and have been making improvements based on user feedback ever since. Last year we released a multilingual version of the tool, and today we're pleased to announce a new feature that allows users to query country, series, time, and footnote metadata.
What can DataBank do?
- It enables users to easily create custom queries on data drawn from 52 databases
- It lets users create and customize charts, tables, and maps
- It makes it easy to select, save and share data and visualizations
- It's available on both computers and mobile devices
- DataBank and selected data are available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese
- It now allows users to create custom metadata queries
- Watch the tutorial and read the FAQs to learn more about the basics of DataBank
Exploring ideas, innovations and fresh approaches to our world is at the heart of the public sphere. People, Spaces, Deliberation brings you significant voices from academia and the practice of development through a series of interviews.
Do conventional notions of privacy still exist? Are we trading privacy for convenience? If privacy is a thing of the past, is this a bad thing?
According to Professor Silvio Waisbord, an expert on global media, development, and social change, the answer is mixed. People trade the downsides of losing privacy in exchange for convenience, simplification, and other social factors.
The interesting question for him is, "What do people typically do when they are confronted with the fact that you are one of the main perpetrators of your loss of privacy. What do you do about that? Are you willing to make changes about that?"
Solutions Oriented Knowledge-Sharing
Making information and data freely available and usable enables citizens to engage with service providers to participate in development decisions. But is this enough?
Proactive disclosure of better data and information are prerequisites to enabling citizens, governments and institutions to make informed decisions. In order to help countries utilize the open initiatives and build client demand for increased openness, the World Bank organized local workshops and public forums in South Asia and East Asia since 2012, using the twinning approach of access to information and open data. This was an opportunity to connect local citizens and stakeholders to national and global data and knowledge, further providing the public with information needed to influence development at the local level. The World Bank interacted with civil society organizations, research and academic institutions, media, and government, among other stakeholders, providing a forum for discussion, debate and the exchange of information. Access to Information broadens the conversation among multiple informed stakeholders and creates opportunities to find and deliver innovative local solutions to long-standing development problems.
Regular FP2P readers will be (heartily sick of) used to me banging on about the importance of ‘killer facts‘ in NGO advocacy and general communications. Recently, I was asked to work with some of our finest policy wonks to put together some crib sheets for Oxfam’s big cheeses, who are more than happy for me to spread the love to you lot. So here are some highlights from 8 pages of KFs, with sources (full document here: Killer fact collection, June 2014).