21 February 2011

Mapping for results

The World Bank continues to explore ways to promote development through use of its extensive data collection. Mapping For Results is focused on visualising the location of various development projects, as a means of exploring the relationships and results.

Visualising data is an increasingly popular way to get your head around sometimes complex issues. The trick is to keep it meaningful and obvious, while competing for attention against many other visual distractions.

The World Bank explains this initiative on its website:

"The main objectives of the program are (i) to support the monitoring and reporting of results by providing users with an analytical tool to analyze and visualize the geographic location of Bank-funded projects at the sub-national level ; (ii) to improve aid effectiveness by enhanced transparency and accountability of donor-funded operations and (iii) to strengthen the participation of multiple stakeholders, including civil society organizations and citizen groups in the Bank’s work at the country level."

17 February 2011

Facebook makes you fat?

Nicholas Christakis: The hidden influence of social networks | Video on TED.com

Nicholas Christakis, a social scientist at Harvard University specializing in health and social networks, gave a TED talk in February 2010 about visualising epidemics as social networks.
Not sure about the science, but it is an interesting story, linking social networks, behaviour and the spread of conditions: obesity, happiness.

02 February 2011

Apps for Development

Following on the heels of Apps for Africa, the World Bank is running a competition for mobile applications that promote the Millennium Development Goals by using the World Bank's newly opened database. The prize money for Apps for Development totals $45,000 and everyone is invited to vote. There are more than 100 applications and voting closes on 28 February.