How Government Can Unlock Economic Benefits from Open Data: Part I

Title: How Government Can Unlock Economic Benefits from Open Data: Part I
Author: Tod Newcombe
Source: Government Technology
Date (published): 16/12/2014
Date (accessed): 30/12/2014
Type of information: online article
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Zillow, the fast-growing online real estate marketplace, couldn’t exist without public data. More specifically, it probably couldn’t exist without online public data relating to real estate sales information. The nation has more than 3,000 counties, each with its own registry of deeds where routine but vital data are recorded on every transaction involving the sale of homes, businesses and land. Until recently, much of that information resided in paper documents stored in filing cabinets. But as that information has moved online, its value has increased, making it possible for firms like Zillow to use the data in new ways, creating its popular “zestimate” forecast on home values.

The Global Information Technology Report 2014

Title: The Global Information Technology Report 2014
Editors: Beñat Bilbao-Osorio, Soumitra Dutta, Bruno Lanvin
Date (accessed): 30/12/2014
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: The Global Information Technology Report 2014 is a special project within the framework of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network and the Industry Partnership Programme for Information and Communication Technologies. It is the result of collaboration between the World Economic Forum and INSEAD. The Global Information Technology Report 2014 features the latest results of the NRI, offering an overview of the current state of ICT readiness in the world.

Access to information: bridging the digital divide in Africa

Title: Access to information: bridging the digital divide in Africa
Author: Loren Treisman
Source: The Guardian
Date (published): 24/01/2014
Date (accessed): 16/12/2014
Type of information: online article
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: With all the excitement about the role of technology in contributing to social change and improved development outcomes across Africa, it is easy to forget that only 7% of the continent's inhabitants are online. While mobile phone usage is widespread at 72%, this masks regional differences. Eritrea's mobile penetration rate, for example, is just 5%. The internet's limited reach is compounded further because the language of the web is English and mobile connectivity is limited as only 18% of Africa's mobiles are smartphones.

Off the map

Title: Off the map
Source: The Economist
Date (published): 15/11/2014
Date (accessed): 02/12/2014
Type of information: online article
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Africa is the continent of missing data. Fewer than half of births are recorded; some countries have not taken a census in several decades. On maps only big cities and main streets are identified; the rest looks as empty as the Sahara. Lack of data afflicts other developing regions, too. The self-built slums that ring many Latin American cities are poorly mapped, and even estimates of their population are vague. Afghanistan is still using census figures from 1979—and that count was cut short after census-takers were killed by mujahideen. As rich countries collect and analyse data from as many objects and activities as possible—including thermostats, fitness trackers and location-based services such as Foursquare—a data divide has opened up. The lack of reliable data in poor countries thwarts both development and disaster-relief.

Digital Inclusion Report 2014

Title: Digital Inclusion Report 2014
Source: GSMA
Date (accessed): 02/12/2014
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Mobile phones have become the most popular and widespread form of personal technology on the planet, with 3.6 billion unique mobile subscribers and 7.2 billion connections globally. Mobile has had a profound impact on all aspects of life, from simply allowing people to communicate with each other, to providing access to services such as education, healthcare and financial services. The mobile internet will bring the next wave of growth and impact.

Stop Trying to Save the World - Big ideas are destroying international development

Title: Stop Trying to Save the World - Big ideas are destroying international development
Author: Michael Hobbes
Source: New Republic
Date (published): 17/11/2014
Date (accessed): 02/12/2014
Type of information: online article
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Big ideas are destroying international development. It seemed like such a good idea at the time: A merry-go-round hooked up to a water pump. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, where children are plentiful but clean water is scarce, the PlayPump harnessed one to provide the other. Every time the kids spun around on the big colorful wheel, water filled an elevated tank a few yards away, providing fresh, clean water anyone in the village could use all day. PlayPump International, the NGO that came up with the idea and developed the technology, seemed to have thought of everything. To pay for maintenance, the elevated water tanks sold advertising, becoming billboards for companies seeking access to rural markets. If the ads didn’t sell, they would feature HIV/AIDS-prevention campaigns. The whole package cost just $7,000 to install in each village and could provide water for up to 2,500 people. The donations gushed in.

4 Challenges to Reaching 3.8 Billion Mobile Internet Users by 2020

Title: 4 Challenges to Reaching 3.8 Billion Mobile Internet Users by 2020
Author: Wayan Vota
Source: ICT Works
Date (published): 24/11/2014
Date (accessed): 26/11/2014
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: According to new data released by GSMA Intelligence, 3.8 billion people or half of the world’s population will be using mobile devices to access the Internet by 2020. And where will almost all of the additional mobile Internet users come from? The developing world! Mobile Internet users in the developing world will double from 1.5 billion in 2013 to 3 billion by 2020, rising from 25% today to 45% of the developing world population that will be accessing Internet services and consuming mobile data for everything from email and web browsing, to social networking and online gaming.

Indian Govt launches MyGov portal to crowdsource governance ideas

Title: Indian Govt launches MyGov portal to crowdsource governance ideas
Author: Riddhi Mukherjee
Source: Medianama
Date (published): 31/07/2014
Date (accessed): 26/11/2014
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: The Indian government has launched a new online platform called MyGov to encourage citizen participation in governance.

How Open Data can fight poverty and boost prosperity in Kyrgyzstan

Title: How Open Data can fight poverty and boost prosperity in Kyrgyzstan
Author: Victor Mulas
Source: The World Bank
Date (published): 25/11/2014
Date (accessed): 26/11/2014
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: The Kyrgyz Government has been implementing the Open Government Policy and has already undertaken several measures, such as creating official web portals for state bodies including Open Budget, Electronic Procurement, Foreign Aid and many others. Through these websites, citizens can find information about public services and activities offered by government ministries and other state agencies.

We need a ‘data revolution’ for the urban poor

Title: We need a ‘data revolution’ for the urban poor
Author: Paula Lucci
Source: Post2015.org
Date (published): 10/11/2014
Date (accessed): 26/11/2014
Type of information: online article
Language: English
On-line access: yes
Abstract: Last week the UN Independent Expert Advisory Group released its report on the ‘Data Revolution’. Appointed by the Secretary-General, this group looked into how to improve existing data on sustainable development, so that when countries in the General Assembly agree a new set of goals next year, we have better information to monitor them. It’s hard to disagree with the need for better data: accurate and open data is a key building block of effective policy, and a way for citizens to hold governments to account. Yet despite recent improvements in the availability and quality of data, basic information on the poor is still missing or based on imperfect estimates. What’s more, the increasing ambition of a post-2015 agenda to reach the most marginalised and eradicate extreme poverty means that we will need more information for these vulnerable groups than we currently have. The urban poor living in ‘slum’ areas are one such vulnerable group. With their numbers set to increase over coming years, we desperately need more and better data on these communities – but there are some big limitations.

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