Center for Global Development: A new transparency policy

2 August 2011

David Roodman from the CGD has published a post on CGD’s New Data & Code Transparency Policy. The whole post is worth reading (and if you have time make sure you read the policy itself) but let me quote a key section below:

Fundamentally, then, the new data and code transparency policy is about putting the pursuit of truth first. We believe that this step is both right in itself and strategically smart. In statistical analysis, as in software, bugs are the norm. So placing more of CGD’s work in the public domain will inevitably expose mistakes. That can be a daunting prospect for an organization that prizes its reputation for high-quality analysis. But transparency serves the public good. And serving the public good is what CGD, as a charity, should do. Moreover, the success of open source projects such as Wikipedia and Android reassures us that doing the right thing is wise. The flip side of catching more mistakes is better work. And that should lead to greater impact.

In the name of transparency I would suggest also sharing information on funding (particularly, who is funding) and who is involved in peer reviewing the work.