Open Data at the World Bank
A public good for the public good
Neil Fantom
Vision is Open Development
Open Data
Share tools and essential information on the global
economy and Bank’s operations
Open Knowledge
Enable researchers, students, local communities to collect
data, measure results, increase knowledge
Open Solutions
Work together to find solutions to development problems
Open Data
• data freely available
• data easy to use and re-use
• data easy to find
April 20, 2010
We went from this
To this…
In five languages
Data catalog with full downloads
We’ve developed new apps
And provided new data
• Project locations geo-referenced
on a pilot basis from publicly
available documents
• Basis for displaying projects on
• New “Mapping for Results”
application allows overlay with
other indicators, such as those for
measuring the MDGs
Latest addition: survey microdata
Warm response
Andrew McLaughlin, Deputy White House Chief
Technology Officer:
“It’s really fantastic to have the World Bank join -and now lead -- the global open data movement. It
opens huge new possibilities.”
What we’ve learnt about
implementing Open Data
Free data is not free
But it’s good for business
Data “curation” matters
Data licensing matters
• Creative Commons Zero is a good model (CC0): no
copyright, public domain
• Encourage use and re-use, including for commercial
• Require attribution to primary and secondary sources
• Main usual exclusions: no endorsement, association,
warranty, liability
• Need special terms for “raw” data collected under
confidentiality agreements
It’s not about developing a pretty website
Others can reach users better
Create incentives for intermediaries
• First global competition to
create innovative software
applications for
• Must use some World Bank
data, and address one of the
• Aim: bring together software
developers and
development practitioners
Open Data brings new opportunities
The winning apps…
Guiding future development
• Open Data is good for the data and official statistics
• But some countries and partners face obstacles to
adopting an Open Data policy:
Data access restrictions for some datasets
Capacity and incentives
Technical barriers
Open Data not prioritized in NSDSs
• Working together, and through PARIS21, we can make
A public good for the public good

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