This Week: Discovering the New Data

It was Valentine’s Day this weekend, and what better way to celebrate it than reading about one of the loves of our life: transparency. From governments to think-tanks and international organizations, a lot of actors of the transparency world worked this past week to bring us bigger transparency.

Let’s take a look at the new available data. In Rwanda, the government has launched a portal to access information where the public will be able to ask for information to over 540 government authorities. Information request are made public trough the website so don´t hesitate to take a look at what information Rwandans are requesting. The Sunlight Foundation has just announced that the United States government has agreed to release comprehensive lists of federal agency’s information holdings. What does it mean? That we can stop wondering what data the U.S government holds and we can start policing which data is being kept form the public and why. The World Bank published their full portfolio of projects in an interactive map, a great example of how to use geocoding technologies to improve transparency, analysis and operations.

As the quantity of available data increases worldwide we are encountering the challenge of analyzing and using it in a meaningful way. It can be easy to get drowned in a sea of information, especially if you are scared of math. That’s why the Harvard Business Review has developed the Introduction to data-driven decisions for Managers who don´t like math, a short guide on how to pick the right metrics, ask the right questions and visualizing the information. You can also read the article Cracking the Black Box of Human Reasoning which describes some of the newest tools that are being developed to understand social problems in fields like decision science and cognitive computing. And if that didn’t catch your attention, you should read it just to understand what “fuzzy cognitive mapping” is and how it can be used to evaluate social impact. 

Project Pulse Project-in-Focus: Week 15

Today we are featuring the 15th Project in Focus of the Project Pulse series: the Commercial Agriculture Development Project. This project was initiated by the Government of Nigeria and funded by the World Bank in 2009 to strengthen agricultural production systems and facilitate access to markets for targeted value chains among small- and medium-scale commercial farmers.

Carmen Cañas is a Project Associate with Development Gateway. Project Pulse profiles are written by Katie Paulson-Smith, Special Assistant to AidData's Co-Executive Director and based at the College of William & Mary.

Tags: transparencyRwandaopen portalgovernmentproject pulseNigeriaWorld BankagricultureDevelopment