The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Shantayanan Devarajan, writes about using mobile phones for monitoring and transparency. It’s good to see the World Bank looking seriously at the principles of open development.
Each year, the World Bank produces a World Development Report. While there is an extensive consultation process with the draft, the Report is essentially written by a core team of Bank staff. Why not produce the report like Wikipedia, and invite the whole world to write it? As one of my colleagues put it, “Then it will be the World’s Development Report.”
And a fitting symbol of Development 3.0.
That would be exciting to see. The World Bank has recently opened its data to public use, but Devarajan’s idea is several steps beyond that.
Here’s a submission for the next step, that might take us a bit closer to Wiki World Development Reports: Open licenses on all World Bank content, scrapping the current restrictions on all past and future World Bank publications. Those restrictions may seem mild (no commercial use and no mention of permissions for derivatives) but they are not compatible with open licenses, meaning they do not support wider collaborative work, and have no place in Development 3.0. It’s time to open up.