Engaging the Public on Country Partnership Strategies

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Open India
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Country Partnership Strategies are a central element of the World Bank Group’s effort to act in a coordinated way to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. But they can be hard for the average person to navigate—some are three-volume tomes, and others can be dense with technicalities. When we make them inaccessible to the general public, we often forgo a critical opportunity to build broad support for our work.

This year, the Bank Group’s India team decided to take a more innovative approach—one that has the potential to directly engage the public and perhaps even spur others to join us in our cause. In producing the Country Partnership Strategy for India, the team opted not to create a simple PDF for the website. Instead it produced a well-designed book, flush with easy-to-understand graphics and appealing photographs. It also produced a highly interactive web application that visualizes the strategyand tracks the strategy’s progress towards its goals over time. The tool shows exactly how individual projects along with knowledge and advisory work line up with our twin goals, and what outcomes we expect in each instance.

To do so, the team had to overcome considerable hurdles. It had to pull together information from multiple institutional and subnational datasets—from the Bank, from IFC, and from the Government of India. It had to overcome incompatibilities in the systems and data standards  of each institution. It made sure that three institutions—each accustomed to working independently—this time worked together at every step of the way. The result was a new online platform that seamlessly presents all of the relevant information.

This is the new frontier for the World Bank Group’s Open Data initiative. Going forward, the Bank Group aims to publish information that tells a story about our work and provides usable insights for our readers—instead of drowning them in data. Publishing raw data, sometimes as Excel spreadsheets, is always a good thing. But it can never be enough. We must also help our readers make sense of the data.

The India team’s work was a model for the entire Bank Group—in every sense. Their creativity significantly raised the bar for other Country Partnership Strategies. It showed there’s a better way to engage with our stakeholders and partners. And it demonstrated what can be accomplished when we work across institutional boundaries to achieve our goals. 

To explore OpenIndia, check out: http://openindia.worldbankgroup.org/
Learn more about the new OpenIndia web-based app during the Annual Meetings. Stop by to interact with the team, ask questions, and explore OpenIndia on a large interactive screen.   

  • Solutions Café (Thursday, October 9; 9:00am-4:00pm; Atrium)
  • CSO Policy Forum (Thursday and Friday, October 9-10; 9:00am-5:30pm; I Building 2nd Floor) 


Aaron Rosenberg

Chief for Public Affairs

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