Thursday, November 10, 2011

World Bank’s financial data open, transparent

Continuing its efforts to encourage openness and transparency globally, the World Bank now discloses its financial data through an open data website and mobile application. This further enriches the Bank’s vast storehouse of openly available development data and addresses the demand for easier access to the Bank’s financial data.
World Bank Finances is part of the Bank’s open data initiative and features publicly accessible data related to the Bank’s finances. The website, features both unvarnished and prepackaged views of data. Currently the site includes data related to the Bank’s investments, financial statements, budget, financial intermediary funds (the assets the Bank manages on behalf of global funds), and trust funds (financial and administrative arrangements the Bank enters with external donors to address high-priority development needs). Chuck McDonough, World Bank vice president and Controller said, “With World Bank Finances, our goal is to reach and engage citizens interested in the Bank’s financial data, empower them to participate in the development process, and actively contribute to the drive for open government. The current effort is a glimpse into an alternative way for the Bank to supervise loans, an opportunity to collaborate and be more responsive in all areas of business—from generating specific project ideas to anti-corruption activities.”The World Bank Finances mobile app, combines the Bank’s financial and project data and puts data into a context that is easier to understand and use. Currently, the app features active IBRD and IDA financial information at the country, project, and loan/credit/grant levels. People interested in learning more about the Bank’s financing activities can now use World Bank Finances to get information like the latest disbursement figures to countries/projects; details on the types of projects the Bank funds; the countries that contribute to or borrow from the Bank; the various global funds the Bank manages; and the Bank’s administrative budget. World Bank Finances makes it easier for people to explore, manipulate (filter, visualise, and export), interact with others (share and discuss), provide feedback to the Bank, and innovate using the Bank’s financial data.In the coming months, the World Bank plans to add more datasets, introduce multi-lingual versions of the platforms, include geo-locations/sub-national locations to the data, build apps for additional mobile devices, seek data partnerships with governments/partners, and convene an ideas challenge surrounding its financial data.


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