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In 5 years of supporting open data around the world, what have we learned?

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This blog post is a part of the International Open Access Week blog series

World Bank Global Data Editor & Senior Data Scientist, Tariq Khokhar, introduces a new report on lessons learned while supporting open data in the Bank’s client countries .

When the World Bank’s launched its open data initiative in 2010, we were convinced it was the right thing to do, but unsure what the results would be.
We soon saw that removing the technical and legal barriers to accessing our data triggered a 15-fold increase in its use. From carrying out economic analyses and highlighting gaps in our data, to creating news stories, data visualizations and games - more users, in more places were doing more things with our data than we’d ever seen before.

ImageWe have not been alone in this realization. Governments and organizations around the world recognize that opening up their data maximizes the return on the investments they have made in producing and managing it.
Since 2012, the World Bank has assisted over 50 low- and middle-income countries with advice and financing to run their own open data programs. We have worked to strengthen the open data community in every region of the world, and to make sure that poorer countries do not miss out on the benefits of new ways of managing digital public goods.
A new report, World Bank Support for Open Data 2012 - 2017 summarizes our work, and what we’ve learned supporting the global open data agenda. It represents the Bank’s work at its best - using a mix of financing, knowledge and partnerships to make long-term improvements that ultimately improve people’s lives.


Elisa Liberatori Prati

Chief Archivist, World Bank Group and and the Director of the Knowledge & Information Services Department in the Information & Technology Solutions (ITS) vice-presidency

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