[open-economics] OpenHDI

Guo Xu digitalepourpre at gmail.com
Tue Jan 4 22:47:16 UTC 2011


My name is Guo - I have been working with Dirk on EUtopia, a web-based
application that allows users to calculate their individual
development indices (http://eutopia.guoxu.org).

I met Rufus yesterday and we decided to move forward and build an
application named OpenHDI for the World Bank App Competition. The
basic idea will be closely related to EUtopia (asking questions and
collecting weightings for an index), but it will be boiled down to
less questions (covering only the dimensions addressed in the original
HDI) and present the results in a more appealing way. I believe that
this project is not only interesting for the competition, but could
also gather valuable data for research: No matter how sophisticated,
all indices essentially suffer an aggregation problem, where ad-hoc
weightings are used that need not represent any "true" weights. By
asking users to reveal their individual priorities, we might find some
interesting deviations from the standard averaging: Unlike ad-hoc
weights set by researchers, our approach would 'democratize' the

Given the limited time frame, next weekend has been set for a virtual
code-sprint - and it would be great if we could get more coders for
the 7th and 8th. In the meantime, I will continue to develop the
existing application conceptually so we can jump straight into
implementation for the hackday.

The final app will be written in Python - the current (EUtopia)
version serves merely as proof of concept. I have written it in ASP
simply because I am stuck with that (call it a lock-in effect). Next
weekend will also a good chance for me to move beyond this Microsoft

Anyway, I'm happy to join the list and hope that some of you will join
us on the weekend!


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