SEOUL March 15, 2016 — Countries around the world are increasingly interested in the transformative power of big data to change the way governments operate and provide services to their citizens, said Byung-jo Suh, President of Korea’s National Information Society Agency at the opening of three-day conference Data Solutions for Development conference in Seoul, Korea today.
“Big data, the discipline that attempts to tap into the millions of bytes of structured and unstructured data that new technologies are generating on a daily basis – from internet searches to satellites to mobile phones – and infer new insights, can revolutionize development,” says Joyce Msuya, Special Representative, World Bank Group Korea Office. “The World Bank Group has partnered with the government of Korea to support countries around the world in their efforts to leverage big data, given its potential in improving the lives of citizens.”
She noted Korea’s global role in harnessing big data for development, and its implementation of a comprehensive multi-stakeholder strategy to use big data for policymaking and improving public service delivery in key sectors.
Younghae Choi, Director General, Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, commented: “We are putting big data into action by building the necessary foundations for the future by efficiently and effectively establishing a solid IT infrastructure. We are delighted to share our knowledge and experiences with our international guests and welcome this opportunity to contribute further to the Knowledge Sharing Series on Innovation for Development.”
Over the next three days, officials from 14 countries, Korean public and private sector officials, and World Bank staff will work together to share knowledge and support participating country clients to use big data applications to tackle development challenges in agriculture, transport, and ICT. Through dialogue, case studies, investigation of country challenges, and exposure to Bank and Korea’s experiences, delegates will be supported in developing action plans for applying big data solutions in home countries – possibly with further support of Korea or the World Bank.
“Big data is what allows the most powerful public-private partnerships to achieve in months and years what previously took decades. Some of the most difficult global problems will best be solved through big data enabled platforms married with widespread public adoption and private sector investment,” said Robin Chase, Keynote speaker and co-founder of Zipcar.
In the afternoon session focused on “Demystifying Big Data” Adarsh Desai, Manager of the World Bank Group’s Innovation Labs, said that the World Bank’s Innovation Labs – managed by the Leadership, Learning and Innovation (LLI) Vice Presidency – is determined to make big data more accessible and demonstrate its relevance to development. An example of this is showing how satellite imagery can be used to track rural electrification programs or that taxi GPS data can be used to understand congestion and improving road development and traffic management in cities. The Innovation Labs is working to accelerate adoption of such emerging innovations in Bank operations and improve country client’s ability to apply big data solutions in their policies and projects, he said.
The Data Solutions for Development Conference is part of a broader knowledge sharing series sponsored by the World Bank’s Innovation Labs and supported by the Korea-LLI Global Program for Knowledge Sharing (KGKS), financed by Korea’s Ministry of Strategy and Finance. The KGKS Program aims to scale-up global knowledge sharing and e-learning platforms, focusing on the most urgent challenges to accelerating inclusive growth and sustainable development.