At DataJam, Innovators and Entrepreneurs Unleash Open Data for Global Development

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park discuss the impact of open data in the field of global development during DataJam at the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 10, 2012. [USAID Photo/ Used by Permission]

About the Author: Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Todd Park serves as Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

A remarkable new tool is becoming increasingly available to help end extreme poverty and ensure dignity and opportunity for people around the world — a tool that few people think about when they consider how to bolster international development efforts. That tool is data, and in particular “open data" — data freely available in formats that are easy to use in new and innovative ways, while rigorously protecting privacy.

The possibilities are truly endless — it could be regional epidemiological statistics being made available to community health workers; or real-time weather information being made available to small-holder farmers; or loan information being made accessible to first-time borrowers. In these and countless other arenas, open data has the potential to not only improve transparency and coordination,… more »

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