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Only 11% Low-income countries make their data open: WDR 2021 Report

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Only 11% low-income countries make their data openAccording to the ‘World Development Report 2021 : Data for better lives’  (WDR 2021) released by World Bank Group, Most countries across the globe shy away from an Open-data policy. It states that only 11% low-income countries made available a license classifiable as ‘open’.

The report has provided an assessment of openness of data, by income group

Openness Score (0-100)38475066
Open terms of Use/License (%)11192244


The report highlighted underinvestment by Countries in Open data systems

  • As of 2019, only half the countries had a national statistical plan that was fully funded.
  • 93% of high-income countries had a fully funded national statistical plan, while not even a single low-income country had one.
  • The major reasons behind the inability of low income countries to harness the potential of data were Lack of institutions, decision-making autonomy, and financial resources.

Gaps in Data on women & Girls

  • The report states that gaps in data on women and girls were severe: Only 10 of the 54 gender-specific indicators (19%) in the UN SDG goals were available.
  • Only 24% of the available gender-specific indicators were from 2010 or later.

Regarding India

  • There is an absence of data on Poverty in India.
  • India monitors 54 out of 130 SDG indicators, the overall number of monitored indicators has gone up.
  • However, the State of India’s Environment in figures, 2020 points out that India has dropped 4 indicators from its tracking list.

Benefits of Open Data Policy

  • Improved Service Delivery
  • Prioritisation of Scarce Resources
  • Holding governments accountable and empowering individuals
  • Better emergency response during disasters – environmental, financial, health or conflict-related. The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority invested in acquiring data on weather forecast & disaster response measures after the cyclone in 1999.

Indian e-commerce rules biased: WDR report

According to the World Bank’s World Development Report titled ‘Stronger Data Systems Needed to Fight Poverty’, India’s e-commerce regulations may be biased towards local companies, thus failing to provide a level playing field to foreign platforms.

  • In 2018, India prohibited foreign e-commerce companies from ownership or control over the inventory of seller partners on their platforms.
  • India has strict guidelines governing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in e-commerce firms.

Recent Related News:

i.October 14, 2020, According to International Debt Statistics 2021 released by the World Bank Group, COVID-19 has deepened the Debt Crisis in Developing Countries.

About World Bank Group

President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington DC, USA