Showing 2 posts tagged world bank
The World Bank is the frequent target of criticism, protests, and even riots. Critics feel the organization exerts a disproportionate influence on the economies and policies of less powerful nations. As a large, transnational bureaucracy it can be impenetrable at the best of times, moreso if those manning the fiduciary barricades are resistant to change.
Perhaps it is the persistence and extravagance of its detractors, but for whatever reason, the World Bank is taking steps toward greater transparency. It announced yesterday that it would be instituting a new “Open Access policy for its research outputs and knowledge products” begining July 1.
The implications of this policy “for authors, enables the widest possible dissemination of their findings and, for readers, increases their ability to discover pertinent information.”
» via ars technica
And so Mr. Zoellick, 57, is wielding knowledge — lots of it. For more than a year, the bank has been releasing its prized data sets, currently giving public access to more than 7,000 that were previously available only to some 140,000 subscribers — mostly governments and researchers, who pay to gain access to it.
Those data sets contain all sorts of information about the developing world, whether workaday economic statistics — gross domestic product, consumer price inflation and the like — or arcana like how many women are breast-feeding their children in rural Peru.
It is a trove unlike anything else in the world, and, it turns out, highly valuable. For whatever its accuracy or biases, this data essentially defines the economic reality of billions of people and is used in making policies and decisions that have an enormous impact on their lives.
» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)