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News from Development Gateway

Open DataOpen data is here. Will citizens use it?


A Word from the CEO

The massive release of development information by a number of major sources (World Bank, IMF, DfID, USAID, Oxfam, Kenya, etc..) has been nothing short of a revolution. The premise was that such information would lead to enhanced accountability and better results through greater involvement of all concerned stakeholders, most of all citizens and their organizations.

Thus far, data suppliers have devoted time and resources to publish information, to make the data comparable through IATI and the work on the post-Busan common standard, and to ensure regular and timely availability in increasingly user friendly formats. Those are remarkable achievements in a relatively short period of time.

Citizen uptake to date has been, however less than was hoped. Part of it is the normal delay in innovation uptake, and part is linked to poor internet penetration and low connectivity in aid intensive countries. But the time has come to analyze more closely the reasons for this tepid demand side response or its lack of sustainability after an initial peak of interest. What may well be missing is the human element and the ability of people potentially interested in using this information to work together in conducive venues where they could exchange ideas, develop joint approaches, and train citizens and CSO organizations.

The still nascent experience of the OpenGov Hub in Washington may prove to be useful grounds to carry such an analysis. We are seeking ways to learn from our first 6 months at the OpenGov Hub and to replicate the experiment in different venues. The idea is to create a network of like minded groups to improve the demand side uptake and accelerate the realization of the benefits expected of the data revolution.

Your views on how to improve the demand side of the development data transformation are most welcome.

Jean-Louis Sarbib, CEO



Citizen EngagementOur Vision for Citizen Engagement

We believe that an informed and engaged citizenry and civil society, using the tools of Open Data, can improve development outcomes in partnership with their governments.

Yet open data is just a “gateway drug” toward more participatory governance. We need to focus on the ecosystem that surrounds such tools to get citizens “hooked” on the power of open data to effect the changes that are relevant to their day-to-day challenges.

To find out what matters to citizens, civil society, technologists, and governments, we need to bring them together in “safe” public venues where they can identify development challenges and create lasting solutions together face-to-face. Read more here.

Knight Challenge"Dear Gov" Our Idea for the Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.

For our entry, we want to enable citizens of Nepal to interact with government by introducing them to mapped development projects within their community and develop a platform to display citizen feedback and 15 second “Dear Gov” videos layered with the mapped project info. Read more here.

AMP WorkshopAMP Best Practices

AMP Best Practices Workshop, Development Gateway’s annual flagship event, took place last fall.

Now we can share with you our synopsis of the thematic discussions and country presentations on key issues related to aid information, coordination, transparency and the usage of AMP in English and French.

The AMP starred in a second report recently.

Lao FAIRThe Ministry of Planning and Investment of the Lao PDR released last week its annual Foreign Aid Implementation Report (FAIR) for the fiscal year 2011-2012.

This year's FAIR is unique because it is the first FAIR report published by the Ministry to be comprised of Official Development Assistance (ODA) data entirely from the Aid Management Platform (AMP). Read more here.

ODTA on ZuniaODTA Now Runs on Zunia

The Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA), an initiative of The World Bank, aims to enhance accountability and improve the delivery and quality of public services through technology-enabled citizen engagement.

Development Gateway is proud to announce that ODTA's new portal ODTA.NET, is built on the Zunia.org platform. ODTA.net replaces opendta.org and leverages the Zunia platform to allow users to share events, news, stories, and general posts about the use and impact of technologies to improve public service delivery. Read more here.

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DG in the News


Show me the money: funding global development progammes


Increased focus on M&E is changing the way both institutions and foundations fund development programmes and charities. This shift has come in response partly to allegations that institutional funding bodies had, under political pressure to meet aid targets, been providing money to ineffective groups and projects, with little attention paid to the end result. As a result, more emphasis has been placed on accountability and transparency. Read more...

Funding 101: the art of giving and receiving grants


Working through national governments not only improves capacity issues where they exist, but it increases the chances of sustained activities and improvements in the long term. At the same time, the international community and donors have to continue to put pressure on these national governments to ensure transparency and support of these activities, for example, with conditional aid. Read more...



AidData News


QCRI develops automated Geotagger for the World Bank

The QCRI Geotagger system augments the World Bank's Mapping for Results initiative, a partnership with AidData, which manually geocoded all active World Bank-financed projects in 144 countries. The system, built by QCRI's Data Analytics team, enables more efficient and effective labeling of the Bank's project portfolios and places them on a map for analysis, monitoring and evaluation. Read more...

TEDx conference creates forum for students, faculty to present ideas

AidData Director of Operations David Trichler outlined AidData’s mission: to find a way to use data to do good and save lives. “We are in an era where mountains and mountains of data are being created at every moment,” Trichler said. “With that mountain of data, we need to look at that information, analyze it, share it, then act upon it. We have mapped out $5 trillion in data. And we think we can do even more.” Read more...
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