Friday, July 20, 2012
Following the recent International Open Government Data Conference, we thought we would highlight several items of potential interest to our readers. Chile launched an open government portal, and the World Bank published a report on “The Journey of Open Government and Open Data Moldova.” FrontlineSMS announced that it would move into the OpenGov Hub in September, joining founding organizations Development Gateway and Global Integrity.
On the Big-Data-Meets-Global-Philanthropy front, France Telecom-Orange and a number of partner organizations, including the World Economic Forum and UN Global Pulse, have opened the “Data for Development” challenge. The initiative makes 2.5 billion of mobile phone users across available for researchers to mash up with other datasets and attempt to answer questions about socioeconomic development in the country. The challenge seems particularly apropos given the report launched by infoDev and the World Bank this week showing that three-fourths of the world’s population now has access to a mobile phone, a pace of technological adoption never before seen in history.
China has pledged $20 billion in credit for Africa to support infrastructure, agriculture, and small business development over the next three years. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton wrote a piece about the need for the United States to “expand its foreign policy toolbox,” arguing that being strong is not enough and that “countries such as China, India and Brazil are gaining influence less because of the size of their armies than because of the growth of their economies.”
Featured dataset: The AidData Research Datasetpage now includes PLAID 1.9 with Environmental Codes. This dataset has its origins in the Greening Aid?book publication. For Greening Aid?, researchers at the College of William and Mary assessed the likely environmental impact of projects through 1999. In 2009, AidData postdoctoral fellow Chris Marcouxled a team to extend this coding. The environmental impact variable evaluates the likely environmental impact of a project, as well as the scope of environmental benefit (if applicable). The release of PLAID 1.9 with Environmental Codes represents the full assessment of all projects through 2008.