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With 189 member countries, The World Bank Group is one of the largest Multilateral International Financial Institutions in charge of funding capital projects across all areas of development across the Globe with the mission to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. By the nature of its field operation and projects, the World Bank Group is a significant collector and disseminator of data across all areas of development including Energy, Water, Innovation, Transport, etc. This data is open by definition, and there is a significant opportunity to ensure it is accessible and re-used to drive information-based decision-making and deliver analytics insights.
In the context of what some call the "data revolution", geospatial data and advanced analytics are being increasingly embraced by both public and private sector stakeholders globally to inform strategic and policy decisions together with supporting project design, implementation, and monitoring. While their use can have been considered as "nice to have, technically and visually appealing but expensive", the landscape is rapidly changing due primarily to increased availability of the data itself, reduction in data collection costs, and advancements in analytics. These developments are opening up opportunities for making better decisions and policies, realising efficiencies, and improving service delivery overall.
The Energy Practice and its dedicated Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme Group (ESMAP) are involved in 100’s projects in developing countries linked to establishing sustainable energy infrastructures and practices. These projects produce and re-use critical pieces of data (GIS data, structured tabular data, data models as well as reports, etc.) across a range of topics including Energy Access, Renewable Energy, Clean Cooking, and Accelerating Decarbonisation. This data should be accessible in a platform that enables users to explore, preview, and ultimately re-use this information as raw data or via dedicated web applications. This was the vision for EnergyData.Info as the dedicated World Bank Energy Data and Analytics Platform.
The Vision for EnergyData.Info included some key requirements:
The view of the above requirements, CKAN was the strongest solution available. It did not disappoint!
EnergyData.Info is the most popular and reliable Open Data Portal for Energy. It has been developed as a public good available to governments, development organisations, private sector, non-governmental organisations, academia, civil society and individuals to share data and analytics that can help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7 of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Through continuous iteration and improvement, the platform has become the one-stop-shop of the original vision, serving as the gateway to dozens of applications and visualisations. Data impact is critical, and it is important to enable decision-making for the non-data-savvy public as well. It highlights the need for users to access data visualisation, data exploration, and data analytics solutions addressing specific decision-making needs.
As a result, the World Bank enriched the Data Hub offering with a suite of applications that are powered by Open Data. These applications aim to help users understand data and fast-track practical field decisions (based on complex data models) that otherwise would require significant input from data analysts, energy/water consultants etc.
Examples of such solutions include: