With the launch of data.worldbank.org, the World Bank Group is now offering more than 2,000 statistics, which were previously only available to paid subscribers.
Experts say the Bank’s open data initiative has the potential to stimulate more evidence-based policy making in developing countries by bringing more researchers and innovative analysis into the development process. The move is also likely to stimulate demand for data and increase countries’ capacity to produce it, they say.
The site also aims to share information by breaking down language barriers. The launch will include 330 indicators that, for the first time, will be available in French, Spanish, and Arabic.
The new Data Catalog allows anyone to access information in multiple formats including: Excel, CSV, XML, SDMX, and via the World Bank API.
“The real power of open data is the enormous opportunity to turn data into knowledge and useful applications to enhance transparency and ultimately accountability of all actors in development,” added Aleem Walji, manager of the World Bank Institute’s new Innovation Practice. “Free and open access to data will empower citizens to get more directly involved in the development process.”