World Bank Posts Data on Finances, Urges Exploration

22 July 2011

The World Bank has posted data online on its own finances.

“The goal of this website is to make data related to the Bank’s financials available to everybody in a social, interactive, visually compelling, and machine readable format,” according to the website.

The data covers “portions of the Bank’s investments, assets it manages on behalf of global funds, and the Bank’s own financial statements.” The bank indicated that more will be added in the near future. The Bank in 2010 began its effort to post data. (See previous report.)

“We invite you to explore the numerous, easy-to-use tools on the website, discuss and rate the datasets, build your own visualizations, and share what is interesting to you through channels like Facebook and Twitter,” The website states. “You can also download the data in multiple formats or, if you are a developer, connect to it through the APIs associated with all the datasets.”

The group Publish What You Fund, which advocates for reporting of development aid data through a common vocabulary through the International Aid Transparency Initiative, commented: “that these initiatives would achieve the greatest effect if they were combined through IATI, the emerging global standard.” The comment continued, “Not only would the use of this standard format make the World Bank’s data more readily usable, and therefore valuable, but it would also represent value for money if these systems focused on compatibility from the beginning.”

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Filed under: 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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