When Worlds Collide #99: South Asia: In Search of Open Data

When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today broadsheet newspaper on 7 March 2014

big-data

“When you’re trying to reach a goal, data not only tells you if you’re succeeding, but it also suggests which activities you should do more of in order to improve your results,” says Bill Gates.

He should know. As one of the world’s top computer geeks, he built up Microsoft and has now turned his data crunching and analytical skills to supporting social development – especially public health and agriculture.

“Ultimately, the better the data available in the development field, the higher the quality of people’s lives in poor countries,” he wrote in a recent op-ed essay for an Asian Development Bank publication.

Calls for a development sector “data revolution” have been made by the United Nations and others in recent months. But what does it mean in practice?

Bill Gates, image courtesy Wikipedia Bill Gates, image…

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