This Week: More Women, More Data, More Tools

Last week celebrated Women in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) day. As a woman who regrets not taking my mother’s advice to study engineering, it is great to see the ICT world become a more welcoming place for women. Check out the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development's guide to Empowering Women Entrepreneurs through Information and Communications Technology to see how this is already being done. You can also check out some of the amazing women in the field who are using their skills for good.

Let’s not stop at who is behind great technology. Let’s also take a look at some of the new tools that are out there. The Open Aid Partnership launched their Open Aid Map, announced at the World Bank's Talking About a Data Revolution event by Malawi Minister of Finance Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba. Read more about the event and the new map that publishes sub-national locations of foreign development-financed projects on an interactive map here.

open aid map

Source: Open Aid Partnership

If you’re interested in trade data, the World Integrated Trade Solution site received a facelift and includes some new bells and whistles for viewers to interact with the data. Meanwhile, others are calling for data journalists to share their data and applauding the news sources that are sharing. The Guardian talked about what would happen if data journalists shared their data more. If there was more diversity among data journalists (more women in ICT!), we would have better access to different viewpoints, more varied stories, and better journalism.

We also had some good policy conversation starters last week. Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network published The Way Forward: A Reform Agenda for 2014 and Beyond. Their two focus points weren’t new: accountability and ownership. These points did acknowledge the ways in which these elements have changed due to additional available technologies. The report highlights how technologies can make citizen participation more vocal and increase mutual accountability for development partners and country partners.

Chris Blattman made a passionate argument for why direct cash transfers to impoverished citizens help lift people from poverty. Blattman speaks directly to fears such as money being wasted on booze and cigarettes, and he argues that evidence references this occuring more rarely than we think.

Taryn Davis is a Project Manager at Development Gateway. Email her your tips to get a shout-out in next week's post.

Tags: ICTUNCTDwomenempowering womenOpen Aid MapOpen Aid Partnershipdata revolutionMalawiWorld Integrated Trade Solutiondata journaliststhe GuardianModernizing Foreign Assistance NetworkChris Blattman