Development Data Partnership 2023 Year in Review

by Kwok Kin Lee

It has been an extraordinary year for the Development Data Partnership. Before we start the new year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect and look back on what we have accomplished in 2023.

Strengthening and Expanding the Partnership

We were delighted to welcome new development partners and data partners to join our mission of unleashing the power of data sharing for the public good. This year, the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, UNICEF, Citibeats, GitHub, Homebase, Planet, and World Data Lab joined the Partnership.

The Partnership now includes eleven development partners and nearly 30 data partners working together to solve development challenges through data science collaboration with the private sector.

Creating Data Goods and Generating Impact

Throughout the year, our organizations have continued leveraging proprietary datasets into responsible, sustainably generated, sharable insights and methodologies for improving public sector services and infrastructure in emerging economies.

Here are impact stories and data goods of how our development partners have collaborated with Data Partners to turn data into insights and solutions to address today’s challenges.

  • The International Monetary Fund launched PortWatch in collaboration with ESRI. PortWatch is an open platform for monitoring and simulating disruptions to maritime trade flows, with beautiful visualizations and useful data downloads. Checkout the platform here.

  • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development leveraged data across its regions and beyond to understand demand for green skills and mobility across different job sectors. The analysis is part of its Transitions Report 2023-24 which is focused on transitions, including a shift towards sustainability, the reconfiguration of global supply chains, and the scramble for raw materials for the digital and green economies. Read more here.

  • The World Bank leveraged data provided through the Partnership to support measurement and monitoring the socio-economic impacts of natural disasters, such as population displacement and business disruption in the aftermath of earthquakes in Türkiye and Morocco. Learn more about support to country teams in Türkiye here and Morocco here.

  • Are firms in Latin America and the Caribbean lagging in terms of their adoption of digital technologies? The Inter-American Development Bank’s Competitiveness, Technology, and Innovation Division leveraged LinkedIn data on the penetration of digital skills as part of an assessment on the adoption of technologies in the region. Read more here.

  • The World Bank Human Development Practice Group collaborated with LinkedIn to study the labor markets in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and analyze the most relevant and characteristic skills according to selected industries and occupations in the tech and digital sector. Read more here.

  • Leveraging X (formerly known as Twitter) data, the World Bank’s Poverty and Inequality Research team investigated whether the social media platform could be used to infer attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination, specifically with an application to the Arabic-speaking world. Read more here.

  • The World Bank’s Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment (MTI) Global Practice used Outlogic data to detect cross-border movements of goods and people, which are generally poorly monitored. This data gives an indication of informal trade flows and economic activity. Read more here.

  • The World Bank East Asia and the Pacific Economic Update April 2022 analyzed challenges and opportunities facing the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. To inform the update, the team looked at the correlation between vaccination and household economic performance using Meta data. Read more here.

  • The Digital Development Global Practice at the World Bank leveraged data from Ookla for Good™ on Internet speeds to inform the special focus section on digital development for the World Bank Maldives Development Update: A Digital Dawn. Read more here.

  • To inform transport mobility planning, congestion data provided by Waze for Cities was used for a World Bank study on how travel patterns in Buenos Aires changed due to pandemic-related restrictions and changing travel preferences. Read more here.

Catching Up with Our Data Science Community

We were fortunate to host our Development Data Partnership Day 2023 and bring our data community both in-person and virtually together. In May, at the World Bank HQ in Washington, D.C. we brought a unique gathering of international organizations, tech companies, research organizations, and NGOs to showcase the power of public-private data collaboration for the public good.

Our keynote speakers and panellists included :

  • Chris Wiggins, Chief Data Scientist, New York Times
  • Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google
  • Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist, LinkedIn
  • Albert Kroese, Chief Statistician, IMF
  • Babatunde Abidoye, Chief Analytics Officer, UNDP
  • Eric Parrado Herrera, Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Indermit Gill, Chief Economist, World Bank Group
  • Paul Schreyer, Chief Statistician, OECD

We also shared impact stories from the IDB, LinkedIn, Mapbox, Meta, Ookla, Premise, the IMF, and the World Bank.

Photography: Tyler Stewart/World Bank Group

Looking Forward to 2024

2023 has been a significant year for the Development Data Partnership and we could not have achieved our success without our community of data partners, development partners, and data community. The Partnership is in a unique position to facilitate the efficient and responsible use of third-party data in international development between international organizations and technology companies. So, as we enter the new year, we will continue to facilitate coordination between international organizations and private firms for the public good. And we will continue to provide sustainably generated data goods and innovative methods to tackle development challenges.

Thank you all for being wonderful partners, collaborators, supporters, and friends. Happy holidays and best wishes for a successful 2024.