The Asia Internet Coalition (“AIC”) submitted comments and recommendations to the Consultation on World Development Report 2021: Data for Better Lives (“Consultation”). With changing data landscape that will benefit people in low- and middle-income countries, the AIC commends the World Bank on leading with this Consultation. We also echo that integrating public and private data offers tremendous potential to improve the lives of poor people, but also opens backdoors that can harm people, businesses and societies. Against this backdrop, AIC would like to effectively contribute to improving the development outcomes through better public policies, program design and service delivery.
AIC welcomes the focus of the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR 2021) on the value of data for global development and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to the Concept Note. The World Bank’s effort to create a conceptual framework to guide countries and businesses towards more efficient and widespread practices of using data to foster socio-economic welfare, is timely and needed. Based on many years of delivering secure cloud infrastructure to tens of thousands of customers worldwide, including governments, commercial enterprises, not-for-profits, and universities, we have observed cloud services support the development of low and middle-income countries. Cloud enables organizations of all sizes to quickly scale up with minimum investment, bypassing many of the costs associated with traditional IT infrastructure. They also provide affordable access to on-demand, high-performance and secure IT services. We, therefore, share the Concept Note’s assessment that cloud is an essential component of the infrastructure needed to maximize the benefits accrued from the analysis of data, and that ensuring technical capabilities to use such data is an immediate and critical global challenge to communities in less developed and emerging countries.