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Resource: Data for Better Lives - World Development Report 2021

Data for Better Lives: World Development Report 2021, published by World Bank Group can be accessed here:

Excerpt:

Overview

Data, which are growing at an unprecedented rate, are becoming an integral part of the daily lives of most people everywhere. But how does that matter for the more than 700 million people living in extreme poverty? Is the explosion in the new types and uses of data improving their lives? Or will poor people and poor countries be left behind, creating a widening gap between those who reap the benefits of this new data-driven world and those who do not?

The innovations resulting from the creative new uses of data could prove to be one of the most life-changing events of this era for everyone. Like many general-purpose technologies such as the steam engine and electricity, the transformations emerging from the data revolution could touch all aspects of societies and economies. But such sweeping changes are not automatic. The productivity value of the steam engine and electricity was realized decades after they were first introduced. The delay occurred not because people did not recognize the importance of these innovations—sooner or later everyone did— but because the new manufacturing systems needed for these innovations to realize their economic potential could not take shape overnight. Just as electricity itself did not result in economic development, data alone will not improve well-being. Data can improve social and economic outcomes, but only if they are used systematically in ways that create information that generates insights that improve lives.

This Report aims to answer two fundamental questions. First, how can data better advance development objectives? Second, what kind of data governance arrangements are needed to support the generation and use of data in a safe, ethical, and secure way while also delivering value equitably?

One important message of this Report is that simply gathering more data is not the answer. Significant data shortfalls, particularly in poor countries, do exist, but the aim of this Report is to shift the focus toward using data more effectively to improve development outcomes, particularly for poor people in poor countries.

 

 

Data for Better Lives: World Development Report 2021 [PDF 29.8 MB]
Source: World Bank Group

Source URL: https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2021

 

The World Bank's WDRs can be accessed at https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr/wdr-archive

 
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