This Week: The World Economic Forum and Data From Space / Project Pulse in Sri Lanka


Last week the whole world had its eyes in Davos where the World Economic forum was meeting. If you want to feel included in the forum you can check out their report on Data Driven Development. It establishes the priorities for sustainable data-driven development like the need to strengthen commercial incentives, shared policy frameworks, legal protections and impact assessment.

Big data is not only a matter of earth bound information as this article about the uses of big data from space proves. Satellite images can help us understand our changing climate, to predict menacing weather and to provide early warning of potential crop failures or freshwater shortages. The importance of this data for humanity as a whole makes it important for this data to be considered a public good, a part of the global commons. 

If you are new to Open Government Data and you are pulling you hair to understand the key challenges in the sector you should check out this World Bank Toolkit. It will walk you through the essential elements to take into account for an effective approach to Open Government Data. It is a great source to identify successful open data portals and, if you are like me and don’t speak computer language, it has a guide of the different technical solutions that exist for open data portals. Furthermore regarding open government data, The Web Foundation released their second annual Open Data Barometer on Monday, ranking countries on their overall open data readiness. The United Kingdom took the top spot, followed by the United States, Sweden, France, and New Zealand. 

For the lovers of lists we recommend you to check out the 50 most critical scientific & technological breakthroughs, a list of the most required game-changing technologies for sustainable global development published by The Institute for Globally Transformative Technology. This study identifies where game changing technologies are most needed and underlines the fact that without good data that allows adequate information analysis we won´t be able to make the best decisions for investing in science and technology. 

Project Pulse Project in Focus

Today we are featuring the 13th Project in Focus of the Project Pulse series: The Road Sector Assistance Project. This project was initiated by the Government of Sri Lanka and funded by the World Bank in 2005 to lower transportation costs through sustainable delivery of an efficient national road system that serves the needs of road users and the Sri Lankan public at large. 

Carmen Cañas is a Project Associate with Development Gateway. E-mail Taryn Davis your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post. 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: DavosWorld Economic ForumBig DataspaceWorld Bankopen governmentgovernment