Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Expedia for Development?

Will the successful aid agency of the future look more like Expedia – a platform on which users can make their own choices – and less like the travel agent of yesterday, experts to whom the public was willing to delegate decisions?
That is Owen Barder, writing about the transformative impact that transparency of information - in conjunction with new technology - will have on international aid.  No one has better insights into this topic than Owen.  Two points bear particular emphasis:

a) Information from beneficiaries and users about project execution and quality is key to motivating real change.  Much of the effort to date has focused on releasing information about spending rather than results.

b) Donor agencies are not best placed to decide the format of data reports.  The most effective data tools will be created by others using raw data provided by the agencies.  In that context, I was pleased this week to attend the ceremony announcing the winners and runners up of the World Bank's Apps for Development contest.

You can read more from Owen on this topic here.