What’s worse than not having Google?

If I didn’t have Google, sometimes I think I’d be completely useless. We’ve all become so used to correct information being immediately available. With the click of a button or tap of a screen, I can find out anything at anytime. Admittedly, this is a real first-world-problem kind of a way to look at it. But I think you’ll get my point.

Not so funny when you realize that many parts of the world don’t have access to important information.

There are people around the world who live without the benefit of accurate information. And I don’t mean “what’s the weather like today?” type of info. I mean like, they don’t know whether their local clinic has got the anti-malarial drugs that they need, or whether it’s worth it for them to go to the next town to sell their crops because the prices are higher there than at the nearest one. I mean living without that type of accurate information.

Fortunately, the global community is working to address these sorts of information gaps and the quandaries that they ultimately produce for the poor, their governments and the entire international community. And right now, you and I have a unique opportunity to stand up for the world’s poorest in a truly meaningful way. Let me explain.

In 2000, 189 world leaders came under the UN umbrella and produced the Millennium Development Goals (or MDGs) – a bold and bright plan to tackle extreme poverty and disease, with a deadline of 2015. Good progress has been made, but more remains to be done. In three weeks from now, this UN’s High Level Panel will meet to design the post-2015 development plan. In our recent Open for Development Report we suggest, in a nutshell, that the key to this plan working all comes down to just one word: openness. This is about 3 things.

1. Open Design: The process of designing the plan has to be open, so that includes the views of the world’s most vulnerable. It is pretty easy to look at someone and say what you think they may need. But it is much better to ask them what they need. To be successful, the designers of the plan need to ask and to listen.

2. Open Budgets and Results: Information about what governments spend to achieve the goals in the plan ­goals on health, on education, on the environment ­must be openly available, along with information about the results achieved.

3. Open Accountability: This information needs to be made available in ways that enable people to make use of it so that they can hold governments to account and make sure that funds are spent as effectively as possible.

You can sign ONE’s petition to world leaders, Prime Minster Cameron of the UK, President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and President Yudhoyono of Indonesia urging them to make sure that openness is at the heart of the next phase of development planning.

Sign the petition here

This is the only way to ensure that the plan is specific, measurable and accountable.

So, what’s worse than not having Google? Letting people make decisions about how to end extreme poverty for you, not being able to ask questions and not having access to raw data to allow you to do the homework for yourself.

When you sign this petition, you’re joining activists around the world to demand that the 27 people on the HLP listen. We want them to ensure that the voices of the world’s poorest are taken seriously as they develop the world’s next set of development goals. Don’t delay - Sign the petition now!