An unprecedented drive to collect data from 500 million smallholder farmers in 50 developing countries was launched on Monday. The “50 x 2030” programme seeks to boost agricultural productivity and livelihoods across Africa, Asia and Latin America by 2030 – and provide more accurate data to inform policy-makers. The initiative, announced at the Data to End Hunger event at the UN General Assembly, comes in the wake of figures which show that global hunger has risen for the third consecutive year, with 821 million people undernourished in 2017. “Data is foundational for so many of the things we want to achieve, and yet because it’s this hidden, not very glamorous, infrastructure it’s hard to get people to care about it,” Claire Melamed, chief executive of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, told The Telegraph. “Our aim is to invest in basic data over a long period, which can give … [Read more...] about Drive to tackle drought in agricultural data launched, as global hunger rises
Data governance initiative
The fourth industrial revolution has finally reached Number 10, and it could change the face of modern-day governance as we know it. In a speech on the government’s industrial strategy, Theresa May announced her support for artificial intelligence (AI), pledging millions of pounds for research to develop machine-learning technologies to detect cancer earlier in NHS patients “The development of smart technologies to analyse great quantities of data quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy than is possible by human beings opens up a whole new field of medical research and gives us a new weapon in our armoury in the fight against disease,” she said. Read more: PM: Robots can prevent 22,000 annual cancer deaths May’s AI ambitions, however, should not just stop at the Department for Health, as the whole UK government and public sector could dramatically benefit from embracing the fourth industrial revolution. To understand the potential, take a look at the … [Read more...] about AI technology can pave the way for smaller, smarter government
You can forget trying to unravel our tangled planning regime. Forget improving access to land. And forget trying to ease the squeeze on skilled construction workers. The government shouldn’t bother with any of the above if it won’t do more to help homebuilders secure funding to get projects off the ground in the first place. This is a funding void that has drastically shrunk the number of small housebuilders in the UK. In fact, if you hark to 1988 – which was the most productive housebuilding period in British history – there were 12,200 small builders in the UK. By 2014 (the latest figure available), the number dropped to 2,400, which is a decline of 80 per cent. And when you look at the largest 10 housebuilders in the country, not a single one was founded after 1990. Of course, the dire lack of housebuilders only serves to exacerbate the country’s supply crisis. Read more: Only one in five homes built in London over next 12 months to be affordable … [Read more...] about Time to think small if the government is serious about solving the UK’s housing crisis
By and March 29, 2018, 12:08 AM EDT Updated on March 29, 2018, 12:19 AM EDT In the long-running dispute between Bank of Japan and the government department in charge of measuring the economy, the BOJ has had a half-win in its quest to change how gross domestic product is calculated.While BOJ chief economist Toshitaka Sekine was rebuffed in his call for wholesale change in how the data was compiled, the Cabinet Office has agreed to release more data on how it estimates GDP. At a meeting of the government’s statistics committee on Wednesday, the Cabinet Office said it would make more information available sometime before April 2019, though it didn’t say exactly what figures.The BOJ’s concerns stems from the fact that that Japan’s GDP data is subject to relatively large revisions after the initial release, making it more difficult to set monetary policy. Japan had the second largest gap between preliminary and final GDP numbers among 18 developed … [Read more...] about No Truce in Bank of Japan’s Fight With Government Over Data
Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the World Wide Web, tweeted up a storm on Thursday, reassuring internet users that they could reassert control over their data -- and the web's future -- after the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook scandals. He's right, but not necessarily in the way he imagines."What can Web users do?" Berners-Lee wrote. "Get involved. Care about your data. It belongs to you. If we each take a little of the time we spend using the web to fight for the web, I think we'll be ok. Tell companies and your government representatives that your data and the web matter."I understand his agony about what has happened to his invention, and I envy his optimism about the efficiency of activism and regulation. Both are, of course, useful in rolling back the massive invasion of privacy we have all suffered, not quite knowingly, in recent years. But even if we get "woke" to the invasion, there's not much we can do about it. Sure, one can go into Facebook … [Read more...] about Protect Your Data. Then Hope for a Tech Revolution.