8 Data love: The risk of humanitarians acting like scientists

It’s much easier for scientists to test a more isolated intervention, like say taking a pill, than it is to even figure out how best to track and attribute the potential impact of many humanitatian efforts. And it’s worth noting that the scientific community is finally acknowledging that even their most refined efforts in reductionist deduction, peer review and attribution often fail.

0 How a prize-winning computer programmer fights poverty

Yaw Anokwa If you’ve ever spent time in a hospital in the developing world, you see all kinds of problems. Sometimes conditions are decrepit, or the facility is understaffed, or it’s charging too much for healthcare. Then there’s “the paper problem.” Data about each patient – name, age, symptoms, everything…

0 Celebrated data guru Hans Rosling admits he doesn’t like data

Rosling is strikingly upfront about the limitations of data. Sometimes, the problem is that different countries measure things – like unemployment – in different ways, he says. In other cases, there are real uncertainties in the data that must be assessed: child mortality statistics are quite precise, whereas maternal mortality figures are not; global poverty measurements are infrequent and uncertain.

1 World Bank interactive data map, wonk treasure trove

Increasingly, organizations with massive amounts of interesting and important information are putting their data online in forms that are both easily accessible and understandable. The World Bank likely has more data relevant to issues in global development, health and poverty than any other organization. And now they have made it…