If you believe that knowledge and economic development go hand in hand, then organizations that will help us free the data, like Swivel, are new and important contributors to our collective numeracy. In developed economies, transparency is key and freeing the public data an important goal.
But for much of the global south, the goal is much more basic. Millions of people remain uncounted, don't officially exist and are unable to participate in essential economic institutions, like banking.
While our economy lacks institutional transparency, these economies suffer from the invisibility of its most basic resource, people.
Mobile Metrix is on a mission to find them, and to work closely with international institutions and NGOs to make their lives, literally, count so that they might be included in the generative economy. At NextBillion.net, guest blogger Bill Kramer writes about one new player seeking a better demography.
As Mobile Metrix puts it, 'the simple act of counting allows theuncounted poor to step into their rights as citizens: voting, legally working, access to schools, health care and other social services.' And, once individuals are accurately characterized, their needs can be more accurately targeted through better-informed government services and/or more knowledgeably developed private sector-provided goods and services.
For more on Mobile Metrix and other efforts to graph the the global poor, read Kramer's entire post.