data https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/683/all en It’s time to improve the ‘Value for Money’ toolkit, and not junk it https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/it-s-time-improve-value-money-toolkit-and-not-junk-it <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt=" Julio Pantoja / World Bank" height="208" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/3633395142_b1039f69ed_z.jpg" style="float:left" title=" Julio Pantoja / World Bank" width="320" />The ‘results agenda’ of donor agencies have inspired several heated debates. Value for money is one of the main tools that helps further this agenda. There is significant pressure on donor development agencies to ‘demonstrate’ what they have achieved (results), and further, examine whether these results have been achieved in a cost-effective manner (‘value for money’). This pressure to demonstrate ‘value for money’ often leads to plenty of frustration, as those designing and implementing aid programmes struggle to strike a balance between what is easy to prove versus the complex nature of an intervention designed to tackle a real-world problem.</p> <p> There are several problems with the results agenda – <em><strong>development interventions take place in a wide range of contexts</strong></em>, that lend themselves to comparisons on some counts and not, on others. These contexts change every day, and certainly over the lifetime of a development project, and attempting a grand theory or mathematical formulae to capture the entire process is nearly impossible.</p> <p> Besides technical problems, there are valid fears that focusing too closely on ‘value for money’ will lead development workers to focus on ‘bean-counting’ and preferring interventions that can be easily measured and whose costs and benefits are easy to estimate. Some researchers have gone further and argued that an obsession with such metrics essentially forces development workers into lying about how their projects actually work.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:39:08 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7785 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-316 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_8.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="178" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_8.jpg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title="" width="180" /></a><strong>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</strong><br /><br />  <br /><strong><a href="https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21721656-data-economy-demands-new-approach-antitrust-rules-worlds-most-valuable-resource?fsrc=scn/tw/te/rfd/pe" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data</a></strong><br /><strong>The Economist</strong><br /> A NEW commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year. Such dominance has prompted calls for the tech giants to be broken up, as Standard Oil was in the early 20th century. This newspaper has argued against such drastic action in the past. Size alone is not a crime.<br />  <br /><strong><a href="https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/28337" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pathways for Peace : Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflicts</a></strong><br /><strong>World Bank/United Nations</strong><br /> The resurgence of violent conflict in recent years has caused immense human suffering, at enormous social and economic cost. Violent conflicts today have become complex and protracted, involving more non-state groups and regional and international actors, often linked to global challenges from climate change to transnational organized crime. It is increasingly recognized as an obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This has given impetus for policy makers at all levels – from local to global – to focus on preventing violent conflict more effectively. Grounded in a shared commitment to this agenda, Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict is a joint United Nations and World Bank study that looks at how development processes can better interact with diplomacy and mediation, security and other tools to prevent conflict from becoming violent.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:55:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7752 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere #3 from 2016: Delhi’s odd-even plan as a public policy experiment https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/3-2016-delhi-s-odd-even-plan-public-policy-experiment <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><strong><em>Our Top Ten blog posts by readership in 2016.<span> </span></em></strong><em>This post was <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/delhi-s-odd-even-plan-public-policy-experiment" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">originally published </a>on February 2, 2016.  </em> <div> <em><a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/512px-trafficjamdelhi_0.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="204" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/512px-trafficjamdelhi_0.jpg" style="float:right" title="by Lingaraj GJ via Flickr" width="272" /></a></em></div> <br /><span>Late last year, Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced a measure to tackle the severe air pollution crisis in the city. The proposal was to implement an odd-even plan for private cars on Delhi roads: cars with odd numbered registration plates would be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbered registration plates allowed on the other days. There was an exemption list that included single women (or with children), public vehicles, medical emergencies, etc. This was to be piloted for a period of fifteen days, starting on 1</span><sup>st</sup><span> January 2016.</span><br /><br /><span>For a detailed account of how the city dealt with this rule, see </span><a href="https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/article8117873.ece" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a><span>.  An excerpt:</span> <blockquote> <em>During the odd-even period, the use of cars fells by 30 per cent while those car-pooling went up by a whopping 387.7 per cent, indicating the success of the government’s push towards that option. Delhiites using private auto-rickshaws went up by 156.3 per cent compared to the period before odd-even, while Metro use went up by 58.4 per cent.</em><br /><br /><em>On average, the respondents’ took 12 minutes less to commute from home to work during the odd-even period. Car and bus users reached their workplaces 13 and 14 minutes faster during the 15-day period</em><br />  </blockquote> </div></div></div> Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:05:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7603 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Data responsibility: a new social good for the information age https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/data-responsibility-new-social-good-information-age <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> As climate change intensifies, catastrophic, record-setting natural disasters look increasingly like the “new normal” – from <a href="https://theconversation.com/hurricane-matthew-is-just-the-latest-unnatural-disaster-to-strike-haiti-66766" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hurricane Matthew</a> killing at least 1,300 people in September to Typhoon Lionrock, the previous month, causing flooding that left 138 dead and more than <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/14/493912206/devastating-typhoon-leaves-some-140-000-north-koreans-in-need-of-aid" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">100,000 homeless</a> in North Korea.</p> <p> What steps can we take to limit the destruction caused by natural disasters? One possible answer is using data to improve relief operations.</p> <p> Let’s look at the aftermath of the April 2015 Gorkha earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal in over 80 years. Nearly <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/04/nepals-earthquakes-one-year-later/479772/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">9,000 people were killed</a>, some 22,000 injured, hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless and entire villages were flattened.</p> <p> Yet for all the destruction, the toll could have been far worse.</p> <p> Without in any way minimising the horrible disaster that hit Nepal that day, I want to make the case that data — and, in particular, a new type of social responsibility — helped Nepal avoid a worse calamity. It may offer lessons for other disasters around the world.</p> <p> In the wake of the Nepal disaster, a wide variety of actors – from government, civil society and the private sector alike – rushed in to address the humanitarian crisis. One notable player was <a href="https://www.ncell.axiata.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ncell</a>, Nepal’s largest mobile network operator. Shortly after the earthquake, Ncell decided to share its mobile data (in an aggregated, de-identified way) with the the non-profit Swedish organisation, <a href="https://www.flowminder.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Flowminder</a>.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:49:00 +0000 Stefaan Verhulst 7573 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Think you know who the manager's favorite is? You may be right: Technology Aided Gut Checks https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/think-you-know-who-managers-favorite-you-may-be-right-technology-aided-gut-checks <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <span><img alt="" height="213" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/5321278576_df7f8e5d12_z.jpg" style="float:right" title=" © Jonathan Ernst/World Bank" width="320" />Welcome to the sixth blog of the technology aided gut (TAG) checks </span><a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/just-new-year-s-resolution-time-learning" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>series</span></a><span>. So far in this series, we have focused on the tools and techniques of a just-in-time learning strategy. We will now switch gears and show how, with very little effort, we can use TAG checks to make simple yet (occasionally) profound conclusions about data - big and small. </span></p> <p> <span>As we delve into the details of TAG checks in the next several blogs, we will be using web programming tools and techniques to gather, process and analyze data. While we will try to be as comprehensive as possible in our explanations, it may not be always as detailed as we would like it to be. This forum, after all, is a blog and not a training tutorial. We hope by applying the just-in-time learning strategy that we have discussed so far in the series, you will be able to supplement what we miss in our explanations. Our goal for the overall series has been to empower you. We hope the first part of the series has made you an empowered self-learner. </span></p> <p> <span>The second part of the series will make you an empowered and savvy data consumer, a development professional who can confidently rely on the story the data tells to accomplish her tasks. </span></p> <p> <span>For the readers who are just joining in, we suggest that you become somewhat familiar with the just-in-time learning strategy by skimming the </span><a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/just-new-year-s-resolution-time-learning" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>series</span></a><span> so far. </span></p> </div></div></div> Wed, 02 Nov 2016 16:39:00 +0000 Tanya Gupta 7553 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-281 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <h4> <img alt="World of News" height="179" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title=" Flickr user fdecomit" width="180" /><span>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</span></h4> <a href="https://mo.ibrahim.foundation/iiag/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance</strong></a><br /><strong>Mo Ibrahim Foundation</strong><br /> The IIAG provides an annual assessment of the quality of governance in every African country. Originally established with the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), presently the IIAG consists of more than 90 indicators built up into 14 sub-categories, four categories and one overall measurement of governance performance. These indicators include official data, expert assessments and citizen surveys, provided by more than 30 independent global data institutions. This represents the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance. MIF defines governance as the provision of the political, social and economic goods that a citizen has the right to expect from his or her state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) assesses progress under four main conceptual categories: Safety &amp; Rule of Law, Participation &amp; Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development.<br /><br /><strong><a href="https://wess.un.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Economic and Social Survey 2016- Climate Change Resilience: an opportunity for reducing inequalities</a></strong><br /><strong>UN  Department of Economic and Social Affairs</strong><br /> The World Economic and Social Survey 2016 contributes to the debate on the implementation challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In addressing the specific challenge of building resilience to climate change, the Survey focuses attention on the population groups and communities that are disproportionately affected by climate hazards. It argues that, in the absence of transformative policies which coherently address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of development, building climate resilience will remain elusive and poverty and inequalities will worsen. To the extent that the differential impact of climate hazards on people and communities is determined largely by the prevalence of multiple inequalities in respect of the access to resources and opportunities, policies aimed at building climate resilience provide an opportunity to address the structural determinants of poverty and inequality in their multiple dimensions.<br />  <br /></div></div></div> Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:52:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7531 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-271 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <h4> <img alt="World of News" height="179" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title=" Flickr user fdecomit" width="180" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</h4> <div> <strong><a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/research/publication/making-politics-work-for-development" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Making Politics Work for Development: Harnessing Transparency and Citizen Engagement</a></strong></div> <div> <strong>World Bank Group</strong></div> <div> Too often, government leaders fail to adopt and implement policies that they know are necessary for sustained economic development. Political constraints can prevent leaders from following sound technical advice, even when leaders have the best of intentions. Making Politics Work for Development: Harnessing Transparency and Citizen Engagement focuses on two forces—citizen engagement and transparency—that hold the key to solving government failures by shaping how political markets function.</div> <div>  </div> <div> <strong><a href="https://www.devex.com/news/governing-the-world-as-if-it-counts-88437" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Governing the world 'as if' it counts</a></strong></div> <div> <strong>Devex</strong></div> <div> The most challenging notion to take on board in the governance of today’s world is that not all that counts can be counted. We increasingly rely on numbers as shortcuts to information about the world that we do not have time to digest. The name of the game is governance “as if” the world counts. It might be a smart shortcut sometimes, but we are in deep trouble if we forget that we are doing it “as if” the world counts. Leadership should take making good decisions seriously. If the method by which we get knowledge and the method by which we make decisions is limited to what can be numbered, we are setting up a system of governance that’s systematically getting stuff that actually counts wrong.<br />  </div> <div> </div></div></div> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:06:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7472 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-258 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <img alt="World of News" height="179" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title=" Flickr user fdecomit" width="180" /><span>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</span><br />   <p> <strong><a href="https://rsf.org/en/world-press-freedom-index" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The World Press Freedom Index</a></strong><br /> Reporters Without Borders<br /> Published every year since 2002 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the World Press Freedom Index is an important advocacy tool based on the principle of emulation between states. Because it is well known, its influence over governments is growing. Many heads of state and government fear its annual publication. The Index is a point of reference that is quoted by media throughout the world and is used by diplomats and international entities such as the United Nations and the World Bank. The Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. It is a snapshot of the media freedom situation based on an evaluation of pluralism, independence of the media, quality of legislative framework and safety of journalists in each country. It does not rank public policies even if governments obviously have a major impact on their country’s ranking. Nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country.</p> <p> <strong><a href="https://carnegieendowment.org/files/RDN_NonWesternDemocracies_041816.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Non-Western Ideas for Democratic Renewal</a></strong><br /> Carnegie’s Rising Democracies Network<br /> It is commonly asserted that Western liberal democracy is losing credibility and that the international community must be more open to tolerating, and even encouraging, non-Western political models in developing and rising powers. Calls for non-Western forms of democracy have been around for many years but are now becoming louder and more ubiquitous. This trend can be expected to deepen as an integral element of the emerging post-Western world order.  The desire of people outside the West to contribute new ideas to democratic regeneration and to feel stronger local ownership over democracy is healthy. More needs to be done to nurture a wider variation of democratic processes and practices. </div></div></div> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:52:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7384 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-254 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="World of News" height="179" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title="" width="180" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week. <p> <br /><strong><a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/22/so-software-has-eaten-world-what-does-it-mean-human-rights-security-governance?utm_source=DMM+03%2F25%2F16&amp;utm_campaign=DMM+12-18&amp;utm_medium=email" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">So Software Has Eaten the World: What Does It Mean for Human Rights, Security &amp; Governance?</a></strong><br /> Human Rights Watch<br /> In 2011, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen famously wrote the startling essay, Why Software is Eating the World, in which he described how emerging companies built on software were swallowing up whole industries and disrupting previously dominant brand name corporations. Andreessen was prescient and almost giddy, in anticipating the dramatic, technological and economic shift through which software companies would take over large swaths of the global economy. What he did not anticipate was the extent to which software would also eat up the realms of governance, security and human rights. Digital technology has disrupted multiple dimensions of governance related to national security, including protection of human rights.</p> <p> <strong><a href="https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/digital-globalization-opportunities-developing-countries-by-laura-tyson-and-susan-lund-2016-03" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Digital Globalization and the Developing World</a></strong><br /> Project Syndicate<br /> Globalization is entering a new era, defined not only by cross-border flows of goods and capital, but also, and increasingly, by flows of data and information. This shift would seem to favor the advanced economies, whose industries are at the frontier in employing digital technologies in their products and operations. Will developing countries be left behind? For decades, vying for the world’s low-cost manufacturing business seemed to be the most promising way for low-income countries to climb the development ladder. Global trade in goods rose from 13.8% of world GDP in 1985 ($2 trillion) to 26.6% of GDP ($16 trillion) in 2007. Propelled by demand and outsourcing from advanced economies, emerging markets won a growing share of the soaring trade in goods; by 2014, they accounted for more than half of global trade flows. Since the Great Recession, however, growth in global merchandise trade has stalled, mainly owing to anemic demand in the world’s major economies and plummeting commodity prices. But deeper structural changes are also playing a role.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 31 Mar 2016 13:58:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7354 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Does “Rational Ignorance” make working on transparency and accountability a waste of time? https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/does-rational-ignorance-make-working-transparency-and-accountability-waste-time <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="" height="150" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/paul-obrien-150x150.jpg" style="float:right" title="Paul O'Brien" width="150" />Guest post from <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/people/paul-o-brien/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Paul O’Brien</a>, Vice President for Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam America (gosh, they do have august sounding job titles, don’t they?)</em></p> <p> As the poorest half of the planet sees that <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/bp210-economy-one-percent-tax-havens-180116-en_0.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">just 62 people</a> have more wealth than all of them, collective frustration at <a href="https://www.oxfamamerica.org/static/media/files/bp210-economy-one-percent-tax-havens-180116-en_0.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">extreme inequality</a> is increasing.  To rebalance power and wealth, many in our community are turning to transparency, accountability, participation and inclusion.  Interrogate that “<a href="https://carnegieendowment.org/files/new_development_consensus.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">development consensus</a>,” however, and opinions are fractured over the benefits and costs of transferring power from the haves to the have-nots.</p> <p> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/intersectionconsulting/7537238368/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="Social Media Information Overload" height="255" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/7537238368_a0bf8fa717_z.jpg" style="float:left" title=" Mark Smiciklas" width="280" /></a>In truth, our theories of change often diverge.  Most development organizations may agree on the need to advocate for more Investment, Innovation, Information, strong Institutions and Incentives, but some organizations are genuinely committed to only one of those “I’s”, and that can be problematic:  Oxfam often finds itself choosing and moving between the relentless positivity of politically benign theories of change (e.g. we just need more “investment” or “innovation”), the moderation of those who focus exclusively on transparent “information” with no clear pathway to ensure its political relevance, and the relentless negativity of activists that think the only way to transform “institutions” or realign the “incentives” of elites is to beat them up in public.</p> <p> Oxfam’s challenge is to be both explicit in our theory of change and show sophistication and dexterity in working across that spectrum.  If Oxfam’s <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/countries/oxfam-strategic-plan-2013-2019-power-people-against-poverty" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">theory of change</a> is based on <em>a citizen-centered approach to tackling global systemic challenges</em> like extreme inequality, then our opportunity may be engaging the “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rational_ignorance" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">rational ignorance</a>” of citizens and consumers.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 28 Mar 2016 18:25:00 +0000 Duncan Green 7351 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Four ways open data is changing the world https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/four-ways-open-data-changing-world <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="Library at Mohammed V University at Agdal, Rabat" height="186" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/9126899431_2ae2fbbc3d_z.jpg" style="float:left" title=" Arne Hoel / World Bank" width="280" />Despite global commitments to and increasing enthusiasm for open data, little is actually known about its use and impact. What kinds of social and economic transformation has open data brought about, and what is its future potential? How—and under what circumstances—has it been most effective? How have open data practitioners mitigated risks and maximized social good?</p> <p> Even as proponents of open data extol its virtues, the field continues to suffer from a paucity of empirical evidence. This limits our understanding of open data and its impact.</p> <p> Over the last few months, <a href="https://www.thegovlab.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The GovLab</a> (<a href="https://twitter.com/thegovlab" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@thegovlab</a>), in collaboration with <a href="https://www.omidyar.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Omidyar Network</a> (<a href="https://twitter.com/OmidyarNetwork" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@OmidyarNetwork</a>), has worked to address these shortcomings by developing 19 detailed open data case studies from around the world. The case studies have been selected for their sectoral and geographic representativeness. They are built in part from secondary sources (“desk research”), and also from more than 60 first-hand interviews with important players and key stakeholders. In a related collaboration with Omidyar Network, <a href="https://barefootintocyberspace.com/about/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Becky Hogge</a> (<a href="https://twitter.com/barefoot_techie" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@barefoot_techie</a>), an independent researcher, has developed an additional six open data case studies, all focused on the United Kingdom.  Together, these case studies, seek to provide a more nuanced understanding of the various processes and factors underlying the demand, supply, release, use and impact of open data.</p> <p> After receiving and integrating comments from dozens of peer reviewers through a unique open process, we are delighted to share an initial batch of 10 case studies, as well three of Hogge’s UK-based stories. These are being made available at a new custom-built repository, <a href="https://odimpact.org" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Open Data’s Impact</a>, that will eventually house all the case studies, key findings across the studies, and additional resources related to the impact of open data. All this information will be stored in machine-readable HTML and PDF format, and will be searchable by area of impact, sector and region.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 18 Feb 2016 16:32:00 +0000 Stefaan Verhulst 7311 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-247 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> <img alt="World of News" height="139" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title="" width="140" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</h4> <p> <strong><a href="https://www.transparency.org/cpi2015#results-table" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Corruption Perceptions Index</a></strong> <br /> Transparency International <br /> 2015 showed that people working together can succeed in fighting corruption. Although corruption is still rife globally, more countries improved their scores in 2015 than declined. Five of the 10 most corrupt countries also rank among the <a href="https://www.visionofhumanity.org/#/page/indexes/global-peace-index/2015" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">10 least peaceful places in the world.</a> Northern Europe emerges well in the index – it’s home to four of the top five countries. But just because a country has a clean public sector at home, doesn’t mean it isn’t linked to corruption elsewhere.<br />  <br /><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/economy-1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">An Economy For the 1%</a></strong><br /> Oxfam<br /> The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. Power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. A global network of tax havens further enables the richest individuals to hide $7.6 trillion. The fight against poverty will not be won until the inequality crisis is tackled.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:56:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7304 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Delhi’s odd-even plan as a public policy experiment https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/delhi-s-odd-even-plan-public-policy-experiment <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="Traffic in Delhi" height="210" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/512px-trafficjamdelhi.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />Late last year, Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, announced a measure to tackle the severe air pollution crisis in the city. The proposal was to implement an odd-even plan for private cars on Delhi roads: cars with odd numbered registration plates would be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbered registration plates allowed on the other days. There was an exemption list that included single women (or with children), public vehicles, medical emergencies, etc. This was to be piloted for a period of fifteen days, starting on 1<sup>st</sup> January 2016.<br /><br /> For a detailed account of how the city dealt with this rule, see <a href="https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/article8117873.ece" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">here</a>.  An excerpt: <blockquote> <em>During the odd-even period, the use of cars fells by 30 per cent while those car-pooling went up by a whopping 387.7 per cent, indicating the success of the government’s push towards that option. Delhiites using private auto-rickshaws went up by 156.3 per cent compared to the period before odd-even, while Metro use went up by 58.4 per cent.</em><br /><br /><em>On average, the respondents’ took 12 minutes less to commute from home to work during the odd-even period. Car and bus users reached their workplaces 13 and 14 minutes faster during the 15-day period</em></blockquote> <p> <br /> I will come to the outcomes of this pilot in just a moment. Outcomes aside, the Delhi government’s Odd-Even plan has yielded a rich bounty. It sets the template for citizen engagement with a public policy reform experiment: heightened awareness regarding the core issue, mass participation, intense public scrutiny, and a data-driven discourse. Let’s take these one-by-one.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 20:39:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7293 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly wire: The global forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-243 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> <img alt="World of News" height="139" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Weekly%20Wire%20Photo_1.jpeg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title="" width="140" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.<br />  </h4> <p> <strong><a href="https://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-d/opb/ind/D-IND-ICTOI-2015-SUM-PDF-E.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Measuring the Information Society 2015</a></strong><br /> International Telecommunication Union<br /> The Measuring the Information Society Report (MISR), which has been published annually since 2009, features key ICT data and benchmarking tools to measure the information society, including the ICT Development Index (IDI). The IDI 2015 captures the level of ICT developments in 167 economies worldwide and compares progress made since the year 2010. The MISR 2015 assesses IDI findings at the regional level and highlights countries that rank at the top of the IDI and those that have improved their position in the overall IDI rankings most dynamically since 2010. The report will feature a review and quantitative assessment of the global ITU goals and targets agreed upon at PP-14 and included in the Connect 2020 Agenda.</p> <p> <strong><a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2015-12-14/prosperity-rising" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Prosperity Rising</a></strong><br /> Foreign Affairs<br /> Since the early 1990s, daily life in poor countries has been changing profoundly for the better: one billion people have escaped extreme poverty, average incomes have doubled, infant death rates have plummeted, millions more girls have enrolled in school, chronic hunger has been cut almost in half, deaths from malaria and other diseases have declined dramatically, democracy has spread far and wide, and the incidence of war—even with Syria and other conflicts—has fallen by half. This unprecedented progress goes way beyond China and India and has touched hundreds of millions of people in dozens of developing countries across the globe, from Mongolia to Mozambique, Bangladesh to Brazil.  Yet few people are aware of these achievements, even though, in aggregate, they rank among the most important in human history.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 15:37:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7278 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The things we do: The economic, social, and personal costs of optimism https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/things-we-do-economic-social-and-personal-costs-optimism <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="Construction worker for the Panama Canal expansion project" height="187" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/8261679399_a45781a030_z.jpg" style="float:left" title="" width="280" />It is now the second week of 2016 and many people are working (or struggling) to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. Whether they have decided to run a marathon, travel more, or save money, many people endeavor to create positive, new habits while shedding existing habits they think are less positive.  These resolutions, though, tend to last one or two months, fading into the backgrounds of their consciousness as spring arrives. <br />  <br /> It’s a typical combination of the planning fallacy, unrealistic optimism, and a bit of self-regulatory failure.<br />  <br /> And this sort of challenge is not specific to New Year’s resolutions or even to issues pertaining to individuals.  City councils frequently draw up budgets that are too lean, road construction frequently lasts much longer than expected, and advances in technology often require much more investment than planners expect. So what’s at work here?  Why is it that people have a hard time judging the amount of time, energy, and resources that a project will take?</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 12 Jan 2016 18:40:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7274 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere