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Technical Assistance from the World Bank

The World Bank provides technical assistance to client country governments in the following areas:

Engagement, outreach and training Conducts information sessions for clients and country offices on open government data and how to make the case for opening them
Readiness assessments Conducts short reviews with a country’s key government representatives and data users to assess its current capabilities and develop a plan for action
Advice, technical assistance and financing Offers advice and training on Open Data strategies, technology and policy best practices to support client countries’ open agendas
Platforms for innovation Brings international experts and local talent together to collaborate, motivate and help each other learn new and valuable ways to use data
Capabilities development for civil society Organizes data journalism boot camps, provides training in the treatment and use of budget data and helps to produce foreign aid maps to promote effective, responsible use of Open Data
  • World Bank Support for Open Data (World Bank). This report summarizes the World Bank’s activities to support the Open Data efforts of developing countries during the period 2012-2017.

The World Bank also has several initiatives and programs that use Open Data to address specific challenges:

  • Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDRI). OpenDRI applies Open Data concepts to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and the impacts of climate change. OpenDRI supports World Bank Regional Disaster Risk Management Teams to build capacity and long-term ownership of Open Data projects with client countries and partners, tailored to meet stakeholder needs. Its complementary programs include data sharing through GeoNode, a free, open-source platform that provides technical solutions and assistance; community mapping, which utilizes collaborative crowd-sourcing mapping tools such as OpenStreetMap to engage communities to create accurate, timely data about urban and rural environments; and risk communication, which utilizes InaSAFE software to assess the likely effects of future disasters by combining data from scientists, governments and communities and to communicate risk more effectively to decision-makers in planning, preparedness and response.

  • World Bank Group Finances (WBGF). The WBGF program uses open financial data via the web and mobile devices to promote transparency, expand the use of data analytics, support innovation and new businesses and address development challenges. The program provides three key services: Guidance in opening financial data and engaging communities and stakeholders in the use of data for policymaking, including demand analysis; development of data-driven tools to help agencies use Open Data to deliver services more effectively; and support for the private sector to promote economic growth and social impact. WBGF also provides mobile strategy consulting to help clients connect with users via point-to-mobile apps. For more information, please contact finances@worldbank.org or ogdtoolkit@worldbank.org.

  • Open Transport. The next generation of tools for managing and planning transport systems in resource-constrained environments, Open Transport addresses three principles: Open Data standards; open source software; and support for the development of transit application to achieve significantly greater use of available data. It provides three critical services for evidence-based transport planning and management: Data collection; data storage, management and sharing; and data analysis and visualization.

  • BOOST. A comprehensive public spending database established in 57 countries, the BOOST initiative is a Bank-wide collaborative effort to facilitate access to budget data, help build open budgets and improve decision-making processes, transparency and accountability. The BOOST platform uses government data and a 26-digit template to make highly granular fiscal data easier to understand and accessible to key users such as legislatures and civil society. Expenditure data are distributed on core fiscal dimensions (i.e., administrative, function, economic, fund sources, economic type) and can be linked with additional datasets to support broader efficiency and equity analyses. For more information, contact Leif Jensen at ljensen2@worldbank.org.

  • The Open Aid Partnership (OAP). The OAP is a multi-stakeholder initiative housed in the World Bank Group’s Innovation Labs. The OAP brings together governments, development partners, civil society and media groups to collectively improve aid transparency and effectiveness. Key objectives of the OAP are to build the capacity of in-country partners to collect, curate and publish data on development resources in an open and accessible format, and to use the data to engage citizens and other stakeholders in evidence-based conversations on development. For more information, visit http://openaidmap.org, or contact openaid@worldbank.org.

  • Data on Company Registries (OCR). As part of a long-term partnership, the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Office of the Company Registrar (OCR) in Nepal implemented a new e-Services system that facilitates registration for entrepreneurs and companies. The automated database and digital filing system computerizes the process involved in opening a business and provides benefits that include streamlined filing of annual reports; integration of business and tax registration; and publication of a business registration user guide. The success of this project has created demand at two more Nepalese agencies – the Departments of Industry and Commerce and Supply Management – to implement similar reforms. For more information, contact opengovdata@worldbank.org.

  • Open Data in Health. In many countries, public health is one of the easiest sectors of data to open and use to improve policy and decision-making. Open Data in Health provides readiness assessments to mobilize stakeholders and policymakers to understand the value of government health data, improve access to it and use it to improve health services policy. Because journalists and the media play a key role in explaining Open Data to citizens and motivating governments and data owners to open it, Open Data in Health offers data literacy programs to explain relevant issues in the health sector, how to interpret health data and how the media can use Open Data in their work, as well as to help them identify data sources. For more information, contact ogdtoolkit@worldbank.org.

  • Global Agriculture and Food Security Program Map (GAFSP). The GAFSP Coordination Unit and Innovation Labs developed an Open Data Mapping Platform to address the underfunding of agricultural and food security assistance by helping countries scale up their strategic investment plans. The platform features easy-to-understand geographic visuals, including maps, photos and videos, to improve communication with stakeholders and support the monitoring process, as well as increase transparency, social responsibility, beneficiaries’ engagement and targeting of interventions. Global maps present eligible countries, countries with active projects and funding by country or region. Country maps pinpoint areas selected for interventions and present general indicators, such as poverty or malnutrition, and project-specific indicators, such as irrigated areas. The initiative also provides geography-based case studies about projects and their local impacts.

  • Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). A coalition of governments, companies and civil society, the EITI advocates openness into the way countries manage natural resources, such as oil, gas and metals. Countries implementing the EITI Standard commit to full disclosure of revenue from natural resources. The World Bank EITI team helps EITI member countries translate data disclosure into greater effectiveness and accountability around exploitation of resources. The team addresses data supply and quality issues across ministries, as well as demand-side use, working with oversight bodies and civil society regarding capacity building, hackathons, visualizations and creating feedback loops on issues raised by data. The effort will aid interoperability across different parts of government, between contracting parties and civil society, and between the private sector and its government counterparts. For more information, contact opengovdata@worldbank.org.

  • The Open Landscape Partnership Platform (OLPP). The OLPP is a high-resolution crowd-mapping platform that supports globally consistent and locally relevant cross-sectoral collaborations for design, monitoring and evaluation of projects that impact sensitive landscapes, critical habitats and hotspots. Initially developed in partnership with the World Bank Global Tiger Initiative, it is a joint initiative of satellite data providers, distributors, value-added processors and end users who are creating a community of practice to expand demand for open access to very high spatial and temporal resolution satellite data. This data is suitable for wide-ranging non-profit use in the interest of public accountability, transparency and sustainability of land and natural resource management and conservation practices.

  • Open Parks Network (OPN). OPN serves the global parks community by providing information, tools and solutions to support the stewardship of natural and cultural assets of protected areas. It unites managers, researchers, policymakers and citizens through development of cyber-infrastructure that freely distributes data to facilitate more informed, science-based management decisions. Clemson University, a public Land-Grant University, owns OPN and created a digital repository of the World Bank Global Tiger Initiative’s document library, comprised of more than 300,000 photos, maps, manuscripts and other items held at archives and museums of U.S. parks, protected areas and historic sites. GTI and Clemson are building an Open Data platform to support the efforts of Tiger Range Nations to double the world’s tiger population.

  • World Bank Global Media Development Program. This partnership-driven program provides a range of services to support Data Literacy, including sustained training for media practitioners on the potential and value of government data. The program recognizes journalists, editors, media owners, civic coders, bloggers, social media leaders and technologists as crucial users and re-users of government data, as well as key entry points for the general public’s consumption and analysis of data. Its Data Literacy methodology addresses the deep capacity gaps in target users and beneficiaries of Open Data by growing “pipelines” for capacity development between data sources and public media platforms. It also integrates media practitioners into communities of practice with government and non-government stakeholders, who are working to improve the environment for free and open information, which will enhance government transparency and accountability as well as data-driven decision-making at all levels.

  • Open Data for Social Accountability and Citizen Engagement. This program supports opportunities to use Open Data initiatives to move beyond a focus on transparency, and towards the use of such initiatives by citizens in social accountability and citizen engagement approaches. Open Data for Social Accountability and Citizen Engagement collaborates with other Bank units to provide comprehensive support to Open Data initiatives at the country and project levels. Noteworthy examples include India, where Open Data-enabled citizen engagement solutions for rural development are being considered, and Nepal, where the gender-based violence hackathon was delivered. The program has also supported initiatives in Jamaica, Kyrgyz Republic, Nigeria, Russia and Rwanda. For more information, contact skumagai@worldbank.org, or opengovdata@worldbank.org.

Technical Assistance from Other Organizations

  • UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Supports the United Nations Programme on Public Administration & Development and assists UN Member States in fostering transparent, accountable, citizen-centered public governance, administration and services by using innovation and technology. UNDESA facilitates access to information, methodologies, assessments and policy proposals and the dissemination of best practices. Its services include support for intergovernmental processes; comparative policy research and analysis; information sharing; and advisory services.

  • Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN). Uses advocacy, technology and training to unlock key information and enable people to share knowledge. OKFN coordinates an international network of individuals engaged in promoting openness and helping it reach its full potential. The foundation monitors levels of openness worldwide and provides commercial technical services and training in data skills. It also enhances the culture of openness with products and services including CKAN, an open source data platform, and the Open Data Handbook.

  • Open Data Institute (ODI). Promotes a culture of Open Data to create economic, environmental and social value. The ODI helps unlock the supply of and generate demand for information and knowledge, and creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. It also convenes world-class experts to collaborate and nurture new ideas and promote innovation with projects such as the Partnership for Open Data. Its coaching and mentoring services and support enable anyone to learn and engage with Open Data.

  • Open Data Roster of Experts. A Google spreadsheet of expert consultants, developed by circulating an information form to a list of professionals in the LinkedIn group and elsewhere. Note that this roster is self-selected and self-reported, and does not imply endorsement by the World Bank or any other organizations.

Sources of Funding

  • The World Bank. Provides a range of programs that support Open Data implementation and use Open Data to address specific challenges.

  • Ford Foundation. Funds capacity building and technical assistance efforts that increase the participation of marginalized communities in building and maintaining democratic, accountable government. The Ford Foundation strengthens networks that build and mobilize grassroots efforts for social change. Its funded initiatives include the World Wide Web Foundation and the Global Partnership for Social Accountability.

  • Gates Foundation. Develops tools for the philanthropic sector that increase its ability to help people worldwide – especially in areas of greatest need – live healthier, more productive lives. The Gates Foundation shares high-quality data to foster effective collaboration with its partners, so they can better understand the problems they’re trying to solve and learn from each other’s experiences. It commits to transparency by providing access to its strategies, outcomes (including datasets), financial data, grants database and data analysis and visualization tools, as well as by endorsing and engaging with information standardization and Open Data efforts.

  • Open Society Foundations. Works to build societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. It supports efforts that expand and protect press freedoms, increase public access to knowledge and information and include minority voices in the media. The Open Society Foundations advocate the use of new technology to bring new opportunities for knowledge creation and dissemination, and support work that promotes access to knowledge, particularly among disadvantaged groups.

  • Knight Foundation. Supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts, primarily within the 26 U.S. communities in which the Knight brothers owned newspapers. The Knight Foundation encourages open information systems that empower communities; establish standards for free flow of information; and turn Open Data into useful products. It also supports efforts such as the Sunlight Foundation and Wikipedia Zero, and provides early-stage venture funding for media innovation.

  • Hewlett Foundation. Improves government responsiveness to citizen needs by encouraging public agencies and officials to provide greater transparency and broader access to operations and budget data. The foundation supports institutions that advocate for standards for greater openness, and funds programs such as the Open Government Partnership, which brings governments and civil society together to develop plans that further accountability and citizen involvement. The foundation is a signatory to the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which promotes transparency in international aid flows.

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