The Computational Tools Program supports the Open Bank, Open Data, Open Knowledge initiative by developing analytical tools for applied economic research. The team brings together specialists in high-level programming, advanced econometrics, and geographic information systems to create data analysis products, then share them with the world, and then train others on how to use them.
The program covers five broad areas:
SOFTWARE FOR DATA COLLECTION
Computer Assisted Personal Interview systems (CAPI) are a new way of collecting survey data. They can revolutionize data collection by improving the quality of data, reducing time for releasing data to researchers, and collecting of new types of data (GPS coordinates, time stamps, audio-video recording, maps, etc.).
The CAPI project will develop and test the software components; pilot the system in different countries and for different surveys; support the research program on comparing the performance of CAPI and paper-based systems; design the tools for randomized experiments during the interviews and collecting new types of data.
The project is financed by the Gates Foundation, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), cross-support with other units in the Bank, and the research budget.
SOFTWARE FOR AUTOMATED ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
The ADePT software platform for automated economic analysis is the flagship product of the Computational Tools Team that is free for users. It is designed to facilitate the production of standardized analytical results. The goal is to develop user-friendly tools to bridge the gap between policy makers and cutting-edge economic research. ADePT version 5.0 consists of 12 modules on poverty, inequality, social protection, Health, Education, Labor market, Gender, and others.
New modules to be developed include economic analysis of energy, water and food subsidies; collaborate with UN FAO on a Food Security Module; and work with ILO on Labor Market Indicators module. This work will result in 4 books on Streamlined Analysis with ADePT Software series.
Online Data Analysis Tool (ODAT) allowd users to conduct micro-level data analysis on unit-record data stored on the Bank server. The tool is in demand from the research community where access to micro-data is restricted. The roll-out of this tool will increase the number of researches working with the same micro-level data and generate new knowledge for the countries where little analysis was done due to restricted access. To see how this works please visit the Comparative Livings Standards Project. More >>
SOFTWARE FOR DATA DISSEMINATION
PovCalNet is an online poverty analysis tool designed for users to calculate the poverty measures under different assumptions and assemble the estimates using alternative country groupings.
Comparative Living Standards Project (CLSP) allows users to access and analyze standardized micro-data from dozens of countries.
TOOLS FOR APPLIED MICRO-ECONOMETRIC ANALYSIS
Poverty Maps: The project develops the methodology and instruments for small area estimation procedures. In response to the high demand from client countries, and the European Commission, a several major improvements are planned: the new simulation module will speed up the convergence of the algorithm by relying on parallel computing procedures. The new Monte-Carlo module will introduce the possibility of census-bases validation.
Stata routines: DECCT researchers will continue developing the Stata routines for poverty dynamic analysis, and the complex parametric and non-parametric estimation algorithms of interest to economists.
Spatial Econometrics and GIS data: The Spatial Analysis Team carries out analytical work and advisory services using geographic information systems (GIS) and related technologies for development research and policy analysis of climate change, environmental issues, water and sanitation, deforestation and others. Spatial technologies involve applications that can be used to visualize and integrate data, and conduct spatial analysis.
ECONOMIC RESEARCH COMPUTER CENTER (ERCC)
The Economic Research Computer Center (ERCC) will provide computational capacity for researchers and practitioners at the Bank and, later, for the larger development community. This will ensure rigorous economic research and analysis at the desktop level, as well as platforms for expanding collaboration and sharing with the broader development community.