Other Group

Our World in Data

Website:

https://ourworldindata.org/

Location:

Oxford, England

Type:

Project of Global Change Data Lab

Founded:

2013

Executive Director:

Max Roser

Our World in Data is a research project of the Global Change Data Lab and researchers from the Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development at the University of Oxford. It focuses on compiling and publishing research on various topics including global poverty, human rights, COVID-19, and the environment. [1] [2]

It is funded via grants from private grantmaking foundations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Quadrature Climate Foundation. It also has various “sponsors” including the Musk Foundation, the Pritzker Innovation Fund, and the Camp Foundation. [3]

Background

Our World in Data (OWID) is a collaborative research project between researchers from the Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development at the University of Oxford and the Global Change Data Lab (GCDL), which publishes the research on the Our World in Data website. [4]

Our World in Data began as compiled research notes written by Global Change Data Lab founder Max Roser in 2011. Roser originally aimed to write a book on international issues before deciding to create a website. [5]

Roser created the first version of Our World in Data in 2013 and applied for a research grant from the London-based Nuffield Foundation, which initially rejected the application but accepted a renewed application in 2014 and provided OWID with a grant of £75,883 (approximately $90,318). [6]

OWID focuses on compiling and publishing research on topics such as world health, technology, economic change, poverty, agriculture, human rights, and the environment. It also began compiling research on the effects of COVID-19 and was continuously updating statistics as of July 2022. [7]

Our World in Data notes that it has four main sources of research it uses for publication: “specialized institutes” such as the Peace Research Institute Oslo, research articles, international institutions like the World Bank, and “official data from government sources.” [8]

Financials

Our World in Data is a project of the Global Change Data Lab, which receives most of its revenue from private grantmaking foundations and individual donors although, as it is based in the United Kingdom, there is limited financial information for the organization. [9]

According to the Charity Commission for England and Wales, GCDL had a total revenue of approximately $2.31 million in 2020, with nearly all from of donations and contributions. The commission also notes that GCDL received around $342,580 from government grants. [10]

GCDL had expenses that amounted to a total of approximately $550,150, nearly all of which was used for “charitable expenditures.” The organization also spent around $7,440 on “governance.” [11]

Our World in Data notes on the website that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Quadrature Climate Foundation, World Health Organization, and the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care have all financially supported the project via the Global Change Data Lab. OWID has also received funding from German billionaire Susanne Klatten, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and the Nuffield Foundation. [12] [13]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) is a left-of-center private grantmaking foundation that had a total asset value of nearly $48 billion (as of year-end 2018) making it the largest private philanthropic foundation in the world. [14]

The Gates Foundation committed a $1 million grant to the Global Change Data Lab in September 2019, to provide “general operating support” in order to increase “content outputs related to global health and development.” The foundation also provided GCDL with just over $1.5 million in a single grant in November 2021, to “strengthen provision of capacity and tools for media organizations to be more effective in the implementation of data storytelling. [15] [16]

Our World in Data lists various “sponsors” that have made contributions to support the project. These “sponsors” include the Musk Foundation, the Pritzker Innovation Fund, and the Camp Foundation. OWID also notes that it is funded by “more than 4,000 people” who have donated directly via the website. [17]

References

  1. “Organization.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/organization. ^
  2. “COVID-19.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus. ^
  3. “Funding.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/funding. ^
  4. “Organization.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/organization. ^
  5. “History.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/history-of-our-world-in-data. ^
  6. “History.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/history-of-our-world-in-data. ^
  7. “COVID-19.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus. ^
  8. “FAQ – How Do You Decide What Data Sources to Use.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/faqs#how-do-you-decide-what-data-sources-to-use. ^
  9. “Home.” Global Change Data Lab. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://global-change-data-lab.org/. ^
  10. “GLOBAL CHANGE DATA LAB – Charity 1186433.” The Charity Commission. Accessed July 21, 2022. register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-search/-/charity-details/5140507/financial-history. ^
  11. “GLOBAL CHANGE DATA LAB – Charity 1186433.” The Charity Commission. Accessed July 21, 2022. register-of-charities.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-search/-/charity-details/5140507/financial-history. ^
  12. “Funding.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/funding. ^
  13. “Susanne Klatten.” July 21, 2022. Accessed July 21, 2022. www.forbes.com/profile/susanne-klatten/. ^
  14. Schwencke, Ken. “BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION – Form Form 990-PF for period ending Dec 2018 – ProPublica.” Nonprofit Explorer. Accessed July 21, 2022. projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/562618866/01_2020_prefixes_56-58/562618866_201812_990PF_2020012317060344. ^
  15. “Global Change Data Lab.” Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. September 12, 2019. Accessed July 21, 2022. www.gatesfoundation.org/about/committed-grants/2019/09/opp1216284. ^
  16. “Global Change Data Lab.” Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. November 2, 2021. Accessed July 21, 2022. www.gatesfoundation.org/about/committed-grants/2021/11/inv025173. ^
  17. “Funding.” Our World in Data. Accessed July 21, 2022. https://ourworldindata.org/funding. ^
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