The Development Data Partnership initiative may appear to be a simple website, but underpinning its design are sophisticated innovations that facilitate efficient collaboration. These include:
Open WBG Access to Private Sector Opportunities
Traditionally, private sector partnerships are signed between individual staff or units, limiting the opportunities offered through the partnership to one team, which may or may not be the most effective use of that partnership. As the WBG seeks to scale up its collaboration efforts with larger technology companies, we need mechanisms to open these opportunities to more staff, without creating unnecessary bottlenecks.
A core objective of Development Data Partnership is to facilitate opening these partnership opportunities to all qualified WBG staff. The operating principle is that partnerships can be originated by any WBG unit, so long as:
If the partnership involves data sharing, the agreement follows the Data Sharing Policy developed by the Data Council and approved by the WBG CEO in 2018, which includes provisions that support internal sharing of data; Partnership activities are recorded on the Development Data Partnership platform (see Private Partner Relationship Management System, below); and If the partner is amenable to additional uses of the data or resources being shared with the WBG, the unit uses the Development Data Partnership platform to solicit ideas and proposals to generate additional value from the partnership. Private Partner Relationship Management System
Private technology partners want to track how the WBG is leveraging their contributions. This tracking quickly becomes challenging, when multiple WBG units are leveraging the same resources. To overcome this issue, the Development Data Partnership platform includes unique, easily updatable partner web pages (viewable only by WBG staff and partners through a login). Each partner web page serves as a custom tracking system, showing current opportunities, received proposals, links to completed projects, names of persons in the WBG who have previously worked with the data partner, and automatically updated links to WBG blogs and articles that includes the partner’s name.
Integrated WBG-Wide Resource Support Ecosystem
Another critical aspect of the Development Data Partnership platform is the novel introduction of a complete ecosystem of support for technology initiatives. For example, a TTL who has been introduced to a big data set from a ridesharing company may receive consultation support from WBG data scientists and geospatial specialists; cloud computing credits through ITS; a consultation with the AI Lab; an introduction to an urban specialist working on Smart Cities; a consultation with the DEC Development Data Group that can support data cleaning, hosting, and visualization; and through the Data Council, connections to the appropriate legal and procurement teams. By formalizing this ecosystem of services, the WBG can improve its level of service in technology, with economies of scale.
Transparent Proposal Submission and Evaluation Process
All solicitations for ideas and proposals are conducted in a transparent manner. Any WBG staff can view another team’s proposal and idea on the Development Data Partnership platform before the selection process is complete. Transparency has the advantage of ensuring a merit-based selection process, as well as stimulating new ideas and avoiding redundancy. Once participating companies are granted access to the site, we can then take the next step of facilitating comments and ideas between the partners and the WBG.
The actual process for selecting winning proposals (who reviews, criteria, timing, etc.) is unique to each opportunity and agreed upon with the private partner. It is envisioned that in FY19, the Working Group will have a budget code and expanded mandate to maintain a rotating cadre of proposal reviewers, to expand opportunities for participation with the Working Group, as well as to limit the burden on core members.
Pooling Internal Resources through Crowdfunding
All persons submitting proposals through the Development Data Partnership platform have the option of electing to raise funds for their proposal through crowdfunding (for more information on crowdfunding – see How it Works question, “What is crowdfunding?”).
When submitting a proposal via on-line template for crowdfunding, a team describes their idea, indicates resources needed to implement the idea, and presents “reward tiers” — what contributors receive by joining their team (for example, in return for a $10,000 budget contribution, a TTL may receive a product translated into their client’s language; for $20,000, the TTL may receive the translated product plus a training workshop tailored for their counterparts and a customized analysis). Then, others viewing a proposal have the option of “joining the team”, through which they make the requisite contributions.
A combined transparent proposal presentation and crowdfunding strategy helps us achieve the following:
Transparency: Bank staff can browse proposals submitted by others; Lowering Barriers to Idea Contribution: Bank staff can submit a proposal, without prior clearance; Pooling Resources and Data: Bank staff may join / support an existing proposal.
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