Open Data Systems Needed To Help End Extreme Poverty

Washington Post: Data poverty makes it harder to fix real poverty. That’s why the U.N. should push countries to gather and share data.
Rohini Pande, professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and co-director of the Evidence for Policy Design Initiative, and Florian Blum, economics PhD student at the London School of Economics

“…A country’s capacity to produce and use statistics does not only require investment in the infrastructure needed to collect, collate, and open up their administrative data to the public, particularly researchers. It also depends on political economy considerations, which thus far have been left out of the conversation. … Governments respond to external as well as internal political pressure. In September, the United Nations should not just announce the final list of Sustainable Development Goals, but also create clear mechanisms to recognize and reward countries that build open data systems and spark research and public discourse … Countries that use their statistics agencies as clearinghouses should be lauded, while others that use theirs as censors should be shamed” (7/20).