World Bank Expands Access to Statistical Data

23 April 2010

The World Bank April 20 announced increased access to its statistical databases and challenged the global community “to use the data to create new applications and solutions to help poor people in the developing world,” according to its press release.

The Bank Group said it is providing “free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive set of data on living standards around the globe — some 2,000 indicators, including hundreds that go back 50 years.” The data will be available in Arabic, French and Spanish in addition to English

I believe it’s important to make the data and knowledge of the World Bank available to everyone,” said World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick. “Statistics tell the story of people in developing and emerging countries and can play an important part in helping to overcome poverty. They are now easily accessible on the Web for all users, and can be used to create new apps for development.”

The data is available on a new site, http://data.worldbank.org.

In the coming months, the Bank promised, it will hold an “Apps for Development” competition, “challenging the developer community to create tools, applications, and ‘mash-ups’ using World Bank data with the goal of producing better tools for understanding development.”

Andrew McLaughlin, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer, blogged about the initiative, calling it “an exciting advance for the global data transparency movement.”

Here’s one nice treatment of the news, complete with video of Zoellick.

By Toby McIntosh

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ABOUT IFTI WATCH

In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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