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The Open Data Research network


Governments, civil society organisations and companies across the world are actively engaging with open data: publishing and using datasets to promote innovation, development and democratic change.

The Open Data Research network has been established to connect researchers from across the world working to explore the implementation and impact of open data initiatives. It is a joint project of IDRC and the Web Foundation, and is seeking to develop wider partnerships over the coming year.

The network currently hosts the 'Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Development Countries (ODDC)' programme.

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Open data for International Women's Day: Making data work to bridge the gap in women’s political representation

Did you know Rwanda, a country that is emerging from one the worst genocides in human history, has around 64% women MPs in their national Parliament? In fact, Rwanda and Bolivia are the only countries in the world where women outnumber men in the Parliament. That is an encouraging thought to start International Women’s Day with. I did not just stumble upon this data. It was part of an enterprise I undertook recently along with a friend, most of it involved long and painful scraping of data from pdfs on women's representation in parliaments.

Open Data Barometer highlights the need for governments to increase open data efforts

The second edition of our Open Data Barometer, released today, shows that hard work lies ahead if Open Government Data (OGD) is to live up to its full potential and deliver truly transformative impacts. Governments worldwide have acknowledged the potential of OGD to reduce corruption, increase transparency, and improve government services, yet over 90% of the 86 countries surveyed in this edition of the Barometer do not publish key datasets in open formats. Despite pledges by the G7 countries to boost transparency by making government data “open by default”, almost half of the G7 countries are still not publishing the key datasets they promised to release in 2013, while fewer than 8% of the countries surveyed worldwide publish datasets on government budgets and spending, public sector contracts, and company ownership in open formats and under open licenses.

Sharing findings at the Open Development Camp

A few weeks ago, a number of the Web Foundation team were in Amsterdam for the Open Development Camp to share insights from the Open Data in Developing Countries project. Below you can catch a video of our panel, with Michael Gurstein, Atif Mumtaz and Andi Pawelke all sharing their experiences of the reality of open data in practice, as well as recorded video input from ODDC partners.

The video from our panel starts at 36 minutes in.