This Week: Open Data in the Middle East - Project Pulse in Guyana
Two different open data initiatives were highlighted in the news last week, and both have the potential to make an impact in the Middle East and Asia. According to Doha News, Qatar's government announced that it will take steps to increase the transparency of its data. Information including crime statistics, election results and national budget figures would be released in raw form and available free of charge. In addition to this development, Qatar's information technology ministry is working on a government-wide strategy to increase engagement between policymakers with the public through social media.
Since September, the World Bank has been building an innovative online platform to make India a bridge between the projects underway in-country and users that are interested in following the progress of those projects. The web app, OpenIndia, was the topic of discussion last week at the OpenGovHub in Washington, DC with representatives from the World Bank as well other various stakeholders.
In a fast-changing world, NGOs and other development finance entities need to continue to push for modernization efforts within their own organizations. Former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright recently remarked that post-war international development institutions have fallen by the wayside due to the rapidly changing world and technological innovations. One way that NGOs and institutions can advance their relevance in the 21st Century is by learning from previous development shortcomings through improved data analysis. Data could potentially help win the fight against corruption by giving NGOs the tools needed to address questionable government contracts and budgetary concerns.
AidData Center for Development Policy 2015 Summer Fellows
In partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Development Lab, the AidData Center for Development Policy is now seeking undergraduate and graduate students for our 2015 Summer Fellows Program. Selected participants have the opportunity to work with development stakeholder organizations primarily in Nepal and Uganda, with the potential for further opportunities in additional countries as they arise.
After attending a week-long intensive training session in Williamsburg, Virginia in late May, selected finalists will then travel to their assigned post for a 10 week embed with a host organization. While there, Summer Fellows will leverage AidData's geospatial data and tools to further the goals and work of their respective host organizations.
Applications are open to all undergraduate and graduate students. This is an unpaid position and selected fellows are encouraged to seek funding from their home academic institutions. To apply for the AidData Summer Fellows program, send a short (1-2 page) resume and a cover letter to Alena Stern and Lauren Harrison (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 5, 2015.
Project Pulse: Basic Nutrition in Guyana
Today we are featuring the tenth Project in Focus of the Project Pulse series: The Basic Nutrition Program. This program was initiated by the Government of Guyana in 2002 and funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to reduce malnutrition among mothers and young children through a series of health, nutrition, and education interventions.
Christopher Katella is the Communications Associate for AidData. Katie Paulson-Smith is the Special Assistant to AidData's Co-Executive Director and based at the College of William & Mary.