Open data as anti-poverty tool must get smarter

The buzz in the development community a few years ago was all about governments opening up their treasure troves of data to the public. It would empower citizens to hold decision-makers to account, reduce corruption and improve service delivery.

Ask experts in governance and transparency today what impact open data is having on improving people’s lives, and they rely on anecdotes.

There's Check My School in the Philippines, which allows parents to look at budget documents and to report online whether the educational services the government promised are actually delivered. Or in Uruguay, At Your Service allows citizens to check customer ratings for doctors and what fees they charge.

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