On both this blog and our Gov 2.0 Watch blog, we have often highlighted the importance of moving beyond transparency to visualization and usable data. A recent piece in the Bangladesh Daily Star looks at how data visualization is being used to bring civic engagement to bear on issues in the Middle East:
A number of organisations, especially non-governmental ones, publish dozens of reports a year. However, these reports and the data they contain are most often ignored. In 2014, the World Bank indicated that more than 31% of these assessments are never downloaded, and approximately 87% are never even cited.
In 2012, the Beirut based organisation, Visualizing Impact (VI), responded to this predicament by giving itself a challenge: to make this data readable, accessible and attractive. The task was motivated by a civic engagement to work on issues regarding the Middle East.
To meet this challenge, VI used the data to developed infographics, a narrative vector that is efficient, succinct and aesthetically pleasing. “We want to propose something different,” says Matthew Stender, content producer for VI. “We combine data with narrative in order to find the most appropriate design to transmit information,” explains the young man from Texas.
You can read more here.