Oxford Martin School academics receive research grant to expand work on visualising global development

06 February 2017

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A $350,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is enabling Oxford Martin School academics to expand their work visualising global development.

The Our World in Data website presents research on living conditions around the world, how they are changing, and why, with the aim of building a comprehensive online resource on global development. It takes the form of accessible interactive data visualisations on aspects of global development, including poverty, violence, education and health.

The collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation until the end of this year will expand two areas of the project’s research: gender aspects of development - considering this from a number of perspectives, including economic development, political rights and engagement, and violence against women - and the financing of public goods such as health and education.

Dr Max Roser, Project Director, says the aim of Our World in Data is to “make research and information on how our world is changing available, for free, to a wide audience”.

“Newspapers and the media necessarily focus on short term events – terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or plane crashes,” he said. “As a result, public opinion is often skewed and not enough people know about positive long term changes, such as the gradual fall in child mortality or the decline of extreme poverty”.

Established two years ago with the aim of helping to change the understanding of global development, Our World in Data is now used widely by journalists, policymakers, academics, and students.

The primary focus of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to enhance global health and reduce extreme poverty. Its main priorities lie in global health, global development, US education, and global policy & advocacy. The Gates Foundation has recently committed $278 million to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to support their work on producing better global health data.

Max Roser said “We’re extremely grateful to receive financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This kind of funding makes it possible continue our task of communicating accessible information on global development, and we’re looking forward to expanding this work.”