62.3% of people in Indonesia and 63.9% in Kenya who want public financial information do not know how to access it.
Understanding the demand for open data seems like more of an art than a science. In many cases, given the "free" nature of open data, we are often limited to analyzing unique visitors, downloads, and consumption patterns at data engagement events. To publishers of open data seeking to respond to stakeholder demand, this incomplete measurement of data use and consumption can feel limiting and frustrating.
Open data in large part is possible due to the dramatic power and potential that the Internet and other technologies continue to bring us. As the latest information revolution continues to unfold, estimates suggest that about three-fifths of the world is offline in 2014. Given current access to connectivity, is the Internet reinforcing inequality in the real world? From an international development perspective, this is troubling. As initiatives and projects like Facebook's Internet.org, Google Loon, and Oluvus seek to extend affordable Internet access, it is still critical to understand what the potential impact of open data efforts may be on the path to a more open and connected world.
As practitioners of open data (specifically on disclosing financial data about the World Bank's activities), these dynamics and questions are particularly worth examining. So we conducted a research project to explore these questions online through an innovative nano-survey technology and offline through engagement pilots in disconnected communities in Indonesia and Kenya.
Please explore the report embedded below (or download the PDF), share comments, and explore the underlying data. This report is also included in the World Bank's Development Data Group's Open Government Data Toolkit.
Thanks to the many colleagues both inside and outside the World Bank who have contributed to this project and subsequent report.
World Bank Group Finances is the online access point for IBRD, IDA, and IFC open financial data. The website features datasets that cover loans, contracts, trust funds, investments, and financial statements. A related mobile app, which allows you to “talk” to us more easily about operational and financial data in nine languages, is available for download for Android and iOS smartphone and tablet users at the Google Store and the iTunes Store, respectively. Follow us on Twitter to join and remain engaged in the conversation about the Bank’s open financial data.