interoperability

The frontiers of data interoperability for sustainable development

Data use

The latest report from the Joined-Up Data Standards [JUDS] project explores where progress has been made, what challenges still remain, and how the new Collaborative on SDG Data Interoperability will play a critical role in moving forward the agenda for interoperability policy. There is an ever-growing need for a more holistic picture of development processes […]


We need to solve real-world problems in a joined-up way

Data use

About two-and-a-half years ago, Development Initiatives and Publish What You Fund launched the Joined-Up Data Standards (JUDS) project, funded by the Omidyar Network. Our aim was to foster international collaboration to make commonly used international data standards interoperable to help drive poverty eradication and sustainable development. Our logic was simple – there’s more open data being produced than ever […]


How to measure disability: survey usability versus usefulness

Data use

The concept of disability is complex and its definition often changes depending on who you ask. A comprehensive view of disability should include functions and structure, limitations in activities or restrictions in participation as well as characteristics of both the person and their environment. These factors already make it tricky to measure disability itself, and […]


Identifying government entities

Data use

Many of the datasets and standards created to further transparency over recent years include information about transactions involving government entities. Persistent, non-overlapping and widely used identifiers are important to enable machines to combine data from multiple sources, and then to answer questions such as the following. How much money has been spent by the UK […]


SEMIC Conference – reflections on the potentially transferable lessons

Data use

“If we don’t have interoperable solutions we could not do our work, we could not invent the future” said Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, in his closing speech at the Semantic Interoperability Conference (SEMIC 2017) in Malta a few weeks ago. Mr Markkula emphasised how important it is to ensure investment in […]


Joining up data in the humanitarian–development nexus: Why does it matter?

Data use

Imagine living in a community that faces poverty and vulnerability and has limited resilience to shocks. Your livelihood is dependent on subsistence farming in a region that is vulnerable to climate change and crop disease outbreaks. Only 26.7 percent of households in your region have enough food to last until the next harvest. 50 percent of the population in your district […]


The not-so-simple world of deflators

Data use

If you need to do international comparisons of financial values over a number of years it makes sense to compare their actual spending power, which varies from year to year according to changing prices and exchange rates. Welcome to the world of deflators – economic metrics that exist to enable the comparison of data, taking […]


Metadata for open data portals

Data use

However, despite more data being published in open formats, data scientists, journalists and analysts are often left with a daunting and time-consuming task of not only finding relevant data and discovering new datasets, but most importantly understanding it before any analysis can be done. That information should be found in the metadata that should couple […]


Why do databases need metadata?

Data use

Why do metadata standards matter? Undoubtedly, data plays an important role in eliminating poverty. It can help us track if girls and boys have equal access to education, and observe trends in child and mother mortality at birth in developing countries, for example. In doing so, it can help us to target interventions for maximum […]