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Citizen Engagement, Open Government

New World Bank partnership to bring benefits of open data to developing countries

The World Bank is working together with the Open Data Institute and the Open Knowledge Foundation on a three-year project designed to help policy makers and citizens in developing countries understand and exploit the benefits of open data.

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“Open data has already brought extraordinary benefits to people in rich countries, helping them to understand and improve the world around them. This project will take the benefits of open data to the developing world. It will explore and extend the frontiers of open data and harness its benefits for poverty reduction,” said Amparo Ballivian, Lead Economist at the World Bank.

The project will include scoping the state of open data; assessing the readiness of countries to open up – and use – their data; training government officials, other policy makers, and civil society; undertaking research and producing guidelines on the best use of open data; and producing case studies of impact.

According to Gavin Starks, CEO of the ODI, the project will enable more countries and citizens to discover innovative solutions to their most pressing socio-economic issues. It will drive economic growth and enable people to unlock previously unforeseen benefits and opportunities.

Meanwhile, Laura James, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation said: “Making government, scientific and other data accessible and usable drives positive change across the spectrum: from health to transport, education to entrepreneurship, and culture to community. This project will give citizens in developing countries the knowledge they need to campaign for change, and empower them to their hold their governments to account.”

With an initial budget of $1.25m in year one, the three founding organisations are looking for other partners to join them on the project. Interested parties should contact the ODI or Open Knowledge Foundation to find out more.

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