Does open data have economic value beyond the benefits of transparency and accountability? Does it have the power to fuel new businesses and create new jobs? Does it have the potential to improve people's lives by powering new services and products? If so, what should the World Bank be doing to help this along? These were questions we had in mind as we set out to bring together open data entrepreneurs from across Latin America for an Open Data Business Models workshop in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Data on Millennium Development Goals (MDG) indicator trends for developing countries and for different groups of countries are curated in the World Development Indicator (WDI) database. Each year we use these data in the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) to track progress on the MDGs. Many colleagues, as well as non-Bank staff, approach us on a weekly basis with questions regarding where their region, or country, or sector stands in regard to achieving the core MDGs. Oftentimes in the same breath, they will also ask us whether or when we expect that a particular country or region will meet a certain MDG.
With less than 1,000 days remaining to the MDG deadline, work on the Post-2015 agenda is in full swing. In response to the growing demand for additional info about GMR analytics and the underlying data, we developed a suite of open and interactive data diagnostics dashboards available at: http://data.worldbank.org/mdgs. Below is an extract which summarizes the progress status towards meeting various MDGs among countries in various regions, income and other groups. Select different indicators and highlight categories of progress status to interact with the visualization.
Given the complex nature of the ICP and the fact that it has become the largest worldwide statistical operation, the program decided that the December release will be postponed until March 2014, in an effort to produce the utmost quality results. Read more ...
The preliminary results from the 2011 round of the International Comparison Program (ICP) will be released in December 2013 followed by a more in-depth report in March 2014. The first release will provide Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs), price level indexes, and real expenditures for gross domestic product (GDP) and major aggregates for over 190 countries. Major economic indicators on the global economy produced by the World Bank are based on PPPs which are used to provide internationally comparable price and volume measures for GDP and its expenditure components. The same PPPs are used to determine comparable poverty levels across countries based on the $1.25 per day poverty line.
A year ago we wrote a post on the top 5 questions about World Bank Open Data based on thousands of email and phone queries we received from data users each week. Since then we’ve launched our user support forum and interactive help desk, which makes it easier for our data experts and support specialists to see what users have to say about the data and answer questions faster. It also gives us better data on the type of questions the users are asking. So, we’ve prepared another top 5 – this time discussing themes that the users are interested in.
The final report from the Big Data for International Development DataDive came out a few days ago (see below) and the obvious question is what's next? Sure, the DataDive was a success in terms of the number and caliber of people that participated, the ambition and scope of the problems they worked on (mostly around better/faster/cheaper poverty measurement, and more effective/proactive fight against fraud and corruption), and the results that were achieved in a very short span of time (showing fairly conclusively that big data based approaches can be effectively applied in the context of international development). The report itself points out a few next steps (a data competition, specific action items against each project that the teams worked on, the need to embrace new types of data skills and techniques, and continued effort to open new and more diverse data from both private and public sources) but here is a look at some other themes that emerged during the dive that are probably also worth thinking about -
New data webpages for 29 countries with thousands of education data points
Only few insiders know that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is gathering vast amounts of data and education indicators from dozens of GPE developing-country partners. There are thousands of precious data points representing all aspects of a country’s education sector – unfortunately often buried in lengthy documents.
Open data for business is suddenly the rage. The Economist calls it the new goldmine, the new open data policy released by the US government explicitly links open data with 'entrepreneurship and economic growth', a Capgemini report recently valued the impact of open data on the EU27 economy at 32 billion Euros in 2010, other estimates put the potential of open data in Europe at 180 billion a year, McKinsey valued health data alone at $350 billion annually - the numbers are eye-popping and 'no one has a clue what breakthroughs open data will allow'. The conversation around open data has definitely shifted beyond transparency, accountability, and civic engagement.