Media Review

Speech by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim: Rethinking Development Finance

"In every case, we have to ask ourselves the questions – what are the priorities of the government? What’s in the best interest of poor countries and poor people? Can we find win-win situations? And do these investments align with our core values: access, inclusion, and equality? It’s easy to talk about this approach, but it’s going to be very difficult to change the global development architecture to move in this direction."

The World Bank

Douglas Frantz: 'This is a critical time for the OECD'

“As the global mood tilts toward nationalist and isolationist politics, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is positioning itself for a stronger leadership role in advocating for its ideals, and working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Devex

‘The joke is on us if we cannot read data’

“Data journalism has increased our credibility. When we only rely on anecdotes, we are only looking at the trees. Data allows us to look at the larger picture, the forest. And this has allowed journalists to go beyond the social sciences and be a bit more organised and scientific in their approach. It has helped many journalists overcome their Math phobia, because numbers and spreadsheets can be overwhelming. But the joke is on us if we are unable to read them; how else could we then look at budgets and inflation and report on them?”

The Hindu (India)

World Bank releases detailed visual guide to global progress on Sustainable Development Goals

“The World Bank has released the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It tracks global progress towards the 17 SDGs and the associated 169 targets, through more than 150 maps and data visualisations. The Atlas is based on a database of over 1400 World Development Indicators (WDI), for more than 220 economies, derived from the work of national and international statistical agencies around the world. Many of the indicators go back over 50 years.”

Open Gov Asia

Big Data Is Filling Gender Data Gaps—And Pushing Us Closer to Gender Equality

“Big data offers great promise to complement information captured in conventional data sources and provide new insights into potentially overlooked populations. There is significant potential for future, inventive applications of these data sources, opening up opportunities for researchers and data practitioners to apply big data to pressing gender-focused challenges.”

Blog by Emily Courey Pryor, Data2X

LAC Statistics Officials Review SDG Indicators

“National statistical offices (NSOs) in Latin America and the Caribbean met to review the global indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to assess progress on data generation and compatibility.”

IISD

The key to Africa's development? It could be the Internet of Things

“This is why the West African Monetary Union’s cryptocurrency initiative is encouraging. It’s a step towards the future that Don and Alex Tapscott envision; a move towards an Internet that’s driven by the falling costs of bargaining, policing, and enforcing social and commercial agreements. In this new space integrity, security, collaboration, the privacy of all transactions will be the name of the game. So too will the creation and distribution of value. And that’s great news for Africa.”

World Economic Forum

The Guardian view on national statistics: treat with them respect

“The ONS boasts that confidence in its statistics remains high: four out of five people trust them. It’s politicians whose use of the information is questioned. The Department for Education has just had to acknowledge that the student satisfaction survey was not nearly robust enough to be used to assess university teachers’ excellence. The £350m NHS Brexit bonus was officially discredited. Politicians must behave better. Treating data with the proper respect is an important part of persuading people to adjust their prejudices to accommodate the facts.”

The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Even artificial intelligence can acquire biases against race and gender

“Hiring by algorithm would give men and women an equal chance at work, the thinking goes, and predicting criminal behavior with big data would sidestep racial prejudice in policing. But a new study shows that computers can be biased as well, especially when they learn from us. When algorithms glean the meaning of words by gobbling up lots of human-written text, they adopt stereotypes very similar to our own.”

Science Mag

Census 2016: we, the people, are such a fascinating bunch

“The 2016 census has it all: the good, the bad, the quirky, the downright confronting. And that is the purpose of the census; it prompts questions. Why are Tasmanians older? Why is the typical indigenous Australian younger? Why are WA houses so big?”

The Australian Business Review (Australia)

OPINION: Census outlines ‘typical’ Aussies, but misses statistical relevance

““Typical” – as outlined by the Census data released – is essentially irrelevant. It was a summary of collated responses highlighting the “mode”, the most common response. (…) Therefore, if a large proportion of our ageing population has a mortgage – not difficult to assume – but those younger had a variety of responses including still living at home or renting in addition to owning, of what use is saying the average-aged person most commonly owns their home?”

Bega District News (Australia)

 

Report:

Earth observation for decision-making

“Earth observation from satellites, aircrafts and drones, in-situ measurements or ground-based monitoring stations, can provide a unique and timely source of data that is commensurable across countries, regions and cities.”

OECD

 

Something fun:

Hidden in Plain Sight (Game)

“I think one big reason that people are pessimistic about the future is that they don’t account for the power of innovation. (…) To show you what I mean, I invite you to play a game of virtual hide and seek. You’re “it.”  Pull on a pair of VR goggles and watch the video below. Your job is to spot some of the innovations that are having a big impact on the world. I think you’ll discover that some of the most amazing innovations are hidden in plain sight.

Ready or not, here you come. Good luck!”

Bill Gates’ Blog

Inside the Lab That's Producing the First AI-Generated Pop Album

“What makes AI different from traditional data analytics programs is its capacity to teach itself to recognize patterns using machine learning algorithms, and then make autonomous decisions based on those patterns without being explicitly programmed to do so. Flow Machines' technology is no different. The project’s AI machine is not a self-aware robot that yearns to write a love song — not yet, anyway. It’s a set of complex algorithms that has been given 15,000 songs to analyze.”

Seeker

 

Event:

The Third International Conference on Big Data, Small Data, Linked Data and Open Data

23 April – Venice, Italy

Government Data Science Conference

24 April – London, UK

 

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