Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Solutions: Possibilities and Pitfalls | World Bank Institute (WBI)

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. We connect practitioners and institutions to help them find suitable solutions to their development challenges. With a focus on the "how" of reform, we link knowledge from around the world and scale up innovations. Read More »

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Join the conversation on Twitter: #opendata #opengov #opendev

The session will begin with an overview of Open Development, its implications for development partners, and how this move toward greater openness in data and knowledge is changing the entire development paradigm. It will include a lively moderated conversation on the opportunities presented by open data, open knowledge, and open solutions and how these relate to development challenges and aid effectiveness.

Opening Remarks by Caroline Anstey, Managing Director, World Bank.
Moderated by Aleem Walji, Innovation Practice Manages, World Bank Institute.


Sue Pleming, Senior Director for Policy and Communications, InterAction
Patrick Svenburg, Director of Government Platform Strategy, Microsoft
David Bonbright, Global Chair, CIVICUS and CEO of Keystone Accountability
Nathaniel Heller, Managing Director, Global Integrity
Haley Van Dyck, Director for Digital Strategy and Engagement, USAID

Topics will include: What are the potential limitations of “open”? How can we draw on knowledge, learning, and innovation from a much wider pool of “solvers” and donor resources?

Participants will also have an opportunity to see new mobile apps and the updated Mapping for Results portal. The session will close with an open dialogue, where participants will have an opportunity to present their ideas and feedback on the changing roles of the private sector, civil society organizations, and governments in making development more effective.

This session will be followed by:

Open Speed Data-ing

Thursday, September 22, 2011, 1-2 p.m., MC-C1-200

Join us for a tightly moderated, 60-minute plenary session with a series of 5-minute “lightning talks” or “speed dates” from product owners inside the World Bank. The talks will focus on: 

  • Open Data at the World Bank
  • World Bank Projects and IATI
  • Aidflows: Global Aid Funding
  • World Bank Finances
  • Geo Data and Mapping for Results
  • Open Knowledge and Research
  • World Bank eAtlases and Mobile Apps
  • Open Government and Open Data in Countries
  • World Bank IEG Performance Data
  • Simulation and Analysis Tools



Opening Remarks by Caroline Anstey, Managing Director, World Bank.
Moderated by Aleem Walji, Innovation Practice Manager, World Bank Institute.

David Bonbright, Global Chair, CIVICUS and CEO of Keystone Accountability
Over the past three decades, as a grant maker and manager with Aga Khan Foundation, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Ashoka, David has sought to evolve and test innovative approaches to strengthening citizen self-organization for sustainable development as an alternative to prevailing bureaucratic, top-down models of social service delivery and social value creation. While with the Ford Foundation, he was declared persona non grata by the apartheid government in South Africa. In 1990 he returned to South Africa and entrepreneured the development of key building blocks for civil society, including the first nonprofit internet service provider, the national association of NGOs, the national association of grantmakers, and enabling reforms to the regulatory and tax framework for not-for-profit organisations that were among the first laws passed by the newly elected Mandela government.

Nathaniel Heller, Managing Director, Global Integrity
Heller has split time between social entrepreneurship, investigative reporting and traditional public service since 1999, when he joined the Center for Public Integrity and began, along with Marianne Camerer and Charles Lewis, to develop the Integrity Indicators and conceptual model for what would become Global Integrity. At the Center, Heller reported on public service and government accountability; his work was covered by the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Moscow Times, The Guardian (London), and Newsweek. His reporting on the human rights impact of post-9/11 U.S. military training abroad won awards from both Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society for Professional Journalists. In 2002 he joined the State Department, focusing on European security and transatlantic relations. He later served as a foreign policy fellow to the late-Senator Edward Kennedy in 2004. In 2005, Heller returned to stand up Global Integrity as an independent international organization and has led the group since.

Sue Pleming, Senior Director, Public Relations, InterAction
As Senior Director of Public Relations, Sue oversees the communications team and develops an overall public relations and marketing plan for InterAction. She works closely with member organizations to help craft common strategies and messaging for the NGO community. She is also responsible for InterAction's web site and various publications, which focus on humanitarian and development issues. Prior to joining InterAction, Sue was a correspondent for the international news agency Reuters for two decades, with assignments in Africa, London, Brussels and Washington.

Patrick Svenburg, Director, Government Platform Strategy, Microsoft Corporation
His team is responsible for driving early adoption and awareness of next-generation technologies among customers and partners. He is particularly passionate about community and technologies related to cloud, social and mobility. Patrick is the co-founder of “Random Hacks of Kindness,” a collaborative effort between industry leaders Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google, NASA and the World Bank seeking to harness the power global volunteer technical communities to create interoperable solutions and approaches to mitigate the impact of humanitarian crisis. Patrick has over 15 years’ experience within the international software industry.

Haley Van Dyck, Director for Digital Strategy and Engagement, USAID
Haley Van Dyck is currently working on a Presidential Initiative at the United States Agency for International Development creating new and innovative ways to connect the American people to international development efforts. Prior to USAID she was Director of Citizen Engagement on the first new media department at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC which hailed comments from the Washington Post to be “the most forward of the Obama Administration agencies to grasp Web 2.0.” Van Dyck was a member of the Presidential Transition Team working with the Technological Innovation and Government Reform policy group. During the 2008 presidential election, she worked in the new media department of the Obama for America campaign in the Chicago headquarters.

Aleem Walji, Practice Manager, Innovation, World Bank
Aleem Walji oversees projects focused on Open Government, Transparency and Accountability. As part of his role, Aleem leads efforts related to Open Data, Open Innovation and managing the Bank's competition management platform designed to surface solutions to complex development problems. Prior to joining WBI, Aleem served as a Head of Global Development Initiatives at, with a focus on Eastern Africa. Aleem was also the first CEO of the Aga Khan Foundation in Syria.

World Bank Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, Controller, Development Economics, External Affairs, Reforms Secretariat and the World Bank Institute.

Additional resources:
Development Outreach  
Mapping for Results
Mobile Apps      
Open Data    
Open Development  
World Bank eAtlases     
World Bank Finances       
World Bank Finances Mobile Application