G8 Open Data Charter, Open Data Certificates and Mobiles Mapping Hunger #DataDigest

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This week a big breakthrough for the open data movement as the G8 launches its Open Data Charter and the ODI launches its Open Data Certificate. Public Resource pursues the US government for nonprofit data on $1.5T worth of activity and lots of interesting articles on the subject of Big Data is featured in the New York Times. Also brought up are thoughts around open data enabling computers to do the job of development professionals and a great mobile data project, which maps hunger to find solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Open Government Data
G8 Open Data Charter: why it matters
In this post Nigel Shadbolt discusses the recent revelation of the G8 Open Data Charter. It recognises “a new era in which people can use open data to generate insights, ideas, and services to create a better world for all.” Five fundamental principles are built into the Open Data Charter, which includes the commitment to “Open Data by default” for national, local, federal, international and wider public sector data for improved governance and innovation. The UK’s Open Data Institute’s (ODI) free Open Data Certificate was also launched at the G8 3T event. It is the world’s first robust quality badge for open data and covers the practical, legal, technical and social aspects of effective open data publication. The ODI has already started investing in and collaborating with countries around the development of the certificates.

Public Resource wants to liberate tax records for US nonprofits - converting 100lbs of scanned bitmaps on DVDs into searchable data on $1.5T worth of activity
Public.Resource.Org recently released a new service, which put 6,461,326 US nonprofit tax returns openly online. Nonprofit tax returns from the IRS is currently available at a cost only as TIFF files via monthly DVDs. After failing to get the IRS to release the data Public Resource has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Big Data Applied
BITS Big Data 2013
In this issue of the New York Times BITS, a host of articles on Big Data are featured.  They include:

Open Data Applied
A Computer Can Do Your International Development Job Thanks to Open Data
This post challenges the view that computers cannot make better international development decisions than humans by citing computer algorithms impact on stock market activity. Several examples are used to hammer home the point. For example, Indiana University researchers found that they could reduce medical costs by 50% and increase patient outcomes by 40% by using predictive modelling technique vs. treatment by only a doctor. Wayan Vota says “Think your job is safe because you do in-person capacity building?  Talk to university professions in the age of MOOC. Believe nursing is safe because only humans can help humans heal? This is the future. And do you rely on taxi drivers to help you navigate a new city? Better speak code.”

Mobile Data for Development
'Press 1 if you did not eat yesterday'
The World Food Program (WFP) has launched a Mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) initiative in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It collects data from mobile phone surveys to determine how many people are going hungry, where they are located and reasons for food insecurity. It generates trend data from both voice calls and text messages to cost-effectively conduct the surveys.  However, the DRC has only 23 cellphone subscriptions per 100 people, and hardly any functioning infrastructure. Therefore, mVAM will provide those who do not already own a mobile with a free device, which will be automatically recharged for a certain amount after each completed call.