WASHINGTON, July 1, 2015—The World Bank’s Access to Information (AI) Policy and Open Data Initiative launched five years ago, with more than 6.1 million documents and reports downloaded and over 18,000 development indicators made available, thereby spreading the organization’s wealth of operational information, research, statistics, and data on development challenges around the globe.
Access to information and data can enable citizens to make informed decisions. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to development challenges. But there is evidence that when citizens have access to information, they are empowered to participate in decisions that affect their lives and positively influence their community,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, “Our goal is to continue to create new opportunities for knowledge exchange, and, ultimately, support our clients’ application of evidence-based solutions to development challenges,” he added.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, the Documents & Reports database received more than 2.4 million visits, and users viewed approximately 8 million pages and downloaded close to 1.6 million documents. During the same period, over 65 million visits were made to the Data websites with more than 250 million page views.
Similarly, building on the AI Policy and the Open Data Initiative, the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR), launched in 2012, reached more than 7 million downloads. The OKR is governed by the Open Access Policy, which was approved in July 2012, requiring that all Bank research outputs and knowledge products be made freely available. The World Bank is also integrating its efforts with partnerships and collaborating with governments to help them become open and engage in meaningful dialogue with communities.
These efforts have helped reinforce accountability in the Bank and foster greater support to transparency and openness in the development process. In furtherance of its commitment, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved an additional modification to the AI Policy to clarify the application of the Policy to the documents and records of the Board of Governors, which will take effect on July 1, 2015.
The World Bank recognizes that access to information and data is a critical tool for good governance, accountability, and participation – and, will find ways to deepen its partnership to promote and strengthen awareness to achieve its development goals.