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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

African media urged to leverage WBG’s 9,000 open data to boost good governance

Africa media practitioners have been urged to leverage on the World Bank’s estimated 9,000 open data on agriculture, so as to give drive to good governance, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Making this call recently at a 3-day workshop on reporting agriculture hosted by the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) in conjunction with the World Bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the Lead Operations Officer, World Bank Institute’s Global Media Development programme, Mr. Craig Hammer advised participants to explore the power of open data to improve the state of content on agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
He disclosed that World Bank Group, for instance, has over 9,000 development indicators opened including data on health, nutrition, population, gender, poverty and equity, jobs, climate change to name a few.
“There are microdata on 650,000 variables from 1,200 surveys in addition to over 150,000 analyses, reports,” he said.
According to him by leveraging open data, media practitioners on the continent will spur good governance because open data has evidence to drive its story or information.
Hammer, whose presentation was on ‘Data-Driven Journalism Media,’ defined data as information that has been translated into a form that is more convenient to analyze, pointing out that nowadays, the world thrives on three distinct avenues, more so for media practitioners, comprising having access to information and open data, finding agriculture data with today’s relevance.
Showcasing where media fits in open data usage in what he described as information circle, Hammer described media as a watchdog that discloses to the public in real time relevant infomation; microscope which helps to simplify technical governance information thereby promoting accessibility by the public and facilitate engagement.
He also said that by way of media being a megaphone, it helps with the dissemination of now accessible governance information through various channels available to practitioners.

Equally, Hammer said the aforementioned would assist the citizens to understand, discuss and eventually offer feedback for the government to respond adequately.
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