The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

Word Bank promoting open data in developing countries

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The World Bank has taken an agressive approach as part of their ICT campaigns to push for Open Data to target development challenges in impoverished countries. The World Bank has been conducting “Open Development” workshops throughout East Asia, most notable in Myanmar where local ICT non-profits have been particularly receptive to the strategy. The World Bank has offered it’s wealth of data and informational resources to help leverage technological solutions to developing world problems, and east Asia’s technologically-friendly environment has proved a worthwhile launchpad.

“Our outreach aims to empower people, especially the youth, by showing them how to use the internet more effectively and learn from on-line courses. In remote areas, people cannot read English, so localising software and content is important,” said Htaike Aung, an ICT expert at a local Myanmar CSO.

The World Bank has opened the vast majority of it’s data under Creative Commons licenses to any entrepreneur or researcher taking part in the Open Development workshops. The open atmosphere has been a new change for the World Bank in it’s increasing efforts to invest heavily in ICT solutions.

“Greater access to data and information will enable everyone to make better informed choices and decisions, to improve the lives of the people,” said Kanthan Shankar, the World Bank Country Manager for Myanmar.

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