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Research project: Understanding the impacts of Kenya open data applications and services

The Kenya Open Data Initiative was launched in July 2011 and hosts more than 430 government datasets on the opendata.go.ke portal which has received hundreds of thousands of views and more than 5,000 dataset downloads. Despite this, use of Kenya’s open datasets has fallen short of initial expectations, with only a minority of the population having ever accessed the platform. The Code4Kenya project is an outreach initiative, supporting intermediaries to work with datasets and to develop applications and services which make data more accessible and that promote transparency, accountability, citizen engagement and improved public service delivery. This project explored the long-term impacts of this outreach initiative, focussing particularly on work relating to water, health, and education sectors. This work intends to contribute to understanding of the role that technology intermediaries play in facilitating impacts from open data, and to an assessment of the the value of interventions that stimulate and incubate tech community uses of open data.

The project has additionally used lab-based usability testing to explore key considerations for the design of open data applications.

Project updates