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WeGov

Why Crowdfunding Won't Change China Anytime Soon

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, April 8 2014

Promotional image for My 17 Gay Friends, a short film crowdfunded in China

Three years after the launch of China's first crowdfunding website in July 2011, the idea is “gradually catching on,” as the Wall Street Journal reported in January. The World Bank estimates the market potential in China by 2025 to be US$46 - $50 billion dollars. Modern China scholar Julian Gewirtz argues in a Tea Leaf Nation post that the crowdfunding trend might even usher in political change in China. However, as crowdfunding is subject to the same constraints as other forms of online media, that is an extremely optimistic assertion.

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WeGov

World Bank's New Website Lets Countries Compare Data on Education

BY Rebecca Chao | Thursday, January 30 2014

The data portal allows users to see what education data is available per country. (credit: screenshot, World Bank)

As our partner Engine Room’s Susannah Vila recently asked in a post, can open data improve primary education in developing countries? She points to a number of grassroots education data initiatives like Check My School in the Philippines and platforms that provide school quality data for parents in Kenya and Tanzania; but the latest education data initiative by the World Bank is aimed at policymakers. Read More

WeGov

In the Congo, War and Embargo Complicate World Bank Project

BY Rebecca Chao | Monday, December 16 2013

The provincial budget minister talks to the press after a generally assembly and budget vote (Credit: World Bank)

The war-ravaged province of South Kivu sits at the eastern border of the DRC, beside the stem of Tanganyika, an African Great Lake. Boris Weber, team leader for the World Bank's ICT4Gov, explains to techPresident that after years of conflict and violence in the province, the provincial government was simply not sending the money allocated to local governments. “Partly, they just didn’t have any incentive to send it. Also, they had no way of knowing and tracking how their money was going to be spent.” The World Bank’s participatory budgeting program, piloted in 2012, aimed to resolve that dilemma by giving those in Bukavu a direct say in how they wanted to see their budget spent; therefore creating the accountability needed to incentivize the provincial government to send money down the line. But locals view the program with a skeptic eye and ask, is it enough? Read More

WeGov

In Tanzania, MOOCs Seen as "Too Western"

BY Amanda Sperber | Friday, November 22 2013

A primary school in Arusha, Tanzania (Chris Gansen/flickr)

For many low income countries around the world, including Tanzania, MOOCs are being hailed as digital salvation, bringing “elite” education to the masses. But for some in Tanzania, MOOCs are seen as overly Western, inaccessible to those who do not speak English and unable to address some fundamental problems with education in Tanzania. Read More

WeGov

The World Bank's Lo-Tech Open Data Experiment

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, October 30 2013

Although the open data movement is associated with the Internet and tech-savvy types, an estimated 65 percent of the world's population remains entirely offline. As part of their ongoing push to open up development data, the World Bank has tested initiatives in remote communities to see how open data could be used offline. They wanted to put the assumption that open data is too difficult to understand (especially without the advantage of computer literacy) to the test.

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WeGov

World Bank Announces Million Dollar Open Data Initiative

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, September 20 2013

Open data gets a boost (redagainPatti/Flickr)

The use of open data for development just got a massive leg up this week, when the World Bank announced a three year open data initiative at the Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva. The Open Data Institute and the Open Knowledge Foundation join the World Bank as partners in the initiative, which has a $1.25 million dollar budget for the first year.

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WeGov

The World Bank Finances App: Open Data Online and Off

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, August 14 2013

Greeting card courtesy of Sam Lee

The World Bank values transparency. They have an entire website dedicated to making their financial data open and available to the public. Stores of raw datasets for anyone to “slice and dice, visualize, and share with others.” The quantity of data can be overwhelming, however, so for the mobile app version of their open finances website, they pared the data down and focused on simple information and presentation.

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WeGov

New Innovation Officer Leads Technology Initiative at World Bank

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 10 2013

Chris Vein (Flickr/USDAgov)

As their Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Vein is shepherding the World Bank into the digital age.

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WeGov

As Prop, Cudgel or Sensor, Digital Maps Have a Future in Global Activism

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, January 16 2013

Screenshot from sahelresponse.org

Over the past five years, mapping has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, whether it is used for commercial purposes or crisis management. While some development workers and community organizers feel it is overhyped as a tool for certain types of crisis management, crisis workers and aid agencies find it indispensable. Read More

White House Deputy CTO Joins World Bank To Implement Bank's New Tech Strategy

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, December 12 2012

The U.S.' former Deputy CTO Chris Vein has joined the World Bank. Photo: Flickr/Code for America

Chris Vein is someone who's built a career on bringing innovation to government bureaucracies, first for the city of San Francisco under Mayor Gavin Newsom, and then at the Obama Administration's White House as a deputy chief technology officer. He is now moving on to help the governments of the rest of the world. Read More