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Igniting the Data Revolution Post-2015 Now

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What sparks a revolution? And what helps keep the transformational power of a revolution alive?  When Jim Yong Kim became World Bank Group president less than two years ago, he stated that one of his first priorities was to position the World Bank Group as a “solutions bank.”  Most recently, during his speech last Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Kim discussed the Bank’s efforts to invest in effective infrastructure, including data systems and social movements to empower the poor.

These three words – solutions, data and the poor – from my perspective, point to this: the data revolution needs to be transformational and we must act now.   Unless we fully embrace this data revolution as a bold, timely opportunity to engage citizens, identify successful case studies, leverage global partnerships and technology, strive to learn from the private sector and truly aim to be innovative, we just may miss out on keeping this revolution alive.  And while it is good news that the UN High Level Panel Report on the post-2015 development agenda confirms that the data revolution is high on the political agenda, we must also gather evidence and vigorously commit to an inclusive plan to meet this goal.

Join us this Thursday, April 10, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. during our “Talking about a Data Revolution” event, here in Washington, D.C., during our Spring Meetings, where we’ll discuss the data phenomena from several different angles. Also on the agenda are questions such as:  How can we support countries to take ownership and create, open up, and maintain their own data?  What are the most pressing policy needs? What new forms of public-private collaborations will be necessary? 

Mahmoud Mohieldin, special envoy for the World Bank President, will kick off the event.  Our distinguished panelists feature Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and VP of the African Development Bank, Nick Dyer, director general of the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID), Gavin Starks, CEO of the Open Data Institute and Haishan Fu, director of the World Bank’s Development Data Group.  Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary general of the United Nations, will present opening remarks, while President Kim will present closing remarks.  This event will be moderated by Lindsay Coates, executive vice president of InterAction.

You can join the event remotely via World Bank Live. For those on Twitter, the event hashtag is #datarev.

We are in this together. And we stand with you to take this revolution to the next level of bold, meaningful progress.


Grant Cameron

Manager, Development Data Group, World Bank

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