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 »