What do client governments, NGOs, bloggers, researchers, and application developers have in common? For one, they share a common demand for easier access to the World Bank’s financial data and better packaged financial information.
The World Bank Finances website (finances.worldbank.org), the newest addition to the World Bank’s open data website, addresses this demand, and presents publicly accessible data related to the Bank’s financials available in a social, interactive, visually compelling, and machine-readable format.
The launch is the latest addition to the World Bank’s effort to make its work more open and accountable.
“The new site lets people do things they’ve never been able to do before with our data, such as find in an instant where we’ve disbursed money and then visualize that information,” says Chuck McDonough, the World Bank’s Vice President and Controller. “This launch really demonstrates our continued commitment to transparency, accountability, and innovation.”
World Bank Finances features datasets that cover portions of the Bank’s investments, the assets it manages on behalf of global funds, and the Bank’s own financial statements. The current list of datasets is expected to grow rapidly, as the Bank monitors usage patterns and feedback to determine the specific datasets to be published next.
“We expect the data featured on World Bank Finances to contribute to a better understanding of our work at the global, regional, country, and project levels,” McDonough says.
In addition to accessing pre-packaged numbers and charts, visitors to World Bank Finances can draw on raw, unvarnished data to generate their own visuals to save, download, or embed into their own reports or websites or share with their social networks. For example, client governments, NGOs, bloggers, researchers, and application developers can interact with, manipulate, and share the data featured on World Bank Finances for their own unique needs and purposes.
Shaida Badiee, the World Bank's Director of the Development Data Group adds, "The addition of World Bank Finances to the Open Data Catalog provides public access to an important transactional dataset, in keeping with the Bank's Open Data and Open Knowledge agenda.”
A companion World Bank Finances mobile application is set to launch in August 2011. The app will consolidate open data resources and allow users to navigate through the Bank’s financial activities using interactive maps, icons, charts, and other visual data.
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