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Research project: Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries

Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries is a multi-country, multi-year study led by the World Wide Web Foundation to understand how open data is being put to use in different countries and contexts across the developing world.

Worldwide, it is estimated that governments have already posted more than one million datasets on the internet. Although just a small fraction of these current datasets are from developing countries, this is rapidly changing. Through the Open Government Partnership, governments from more than 55 countries have made concrete commitments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance with a strong emphasis on open data as a means to achieve this. Yet, reliable evidence on the outcomes and impact of open data initiatives remains scarce.

This project explores how open data can foster improved governance, support citizens' rights, and promote more inclusive development through looking at the emerging impacts of existing open data projects in developing countries. This work is designed to inform the development of planned and on-going open data initiatives in the South. The project will work through a series of open data case studies in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. These case studies examine initiatives, the governance challenges they propose to address, and emerging outcomes and impacts from the application of open data in these contexts. The project is also developing cross-cutting data collection instruments and analysis approaches to help explain if and how open data is bringing change to developing countries. Finally, it is engaging with global and local policymaking and practice in order to improve developmental outcomes of these initiatives.

Project components

Project updates

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.

Placing lessons from the ODDC research at the heart of the data revolution debate

Between the 6th and the 9th of October 2014, phase I ODDC case studies from Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya were presented at the 2014 Buntwani Conference as co-facilitators and panelists in a session on Open data and Data revolution held at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of conference was “The potential of ICT in strengthening citizen engagement and participation”

ODDC researchers Bernard Sabiti fromDevelopment Research and Training and Development initiatives, Zacharia Chilishwa of theJesuit Hakimani Centre in Nairobi and Dr. Omenogo Veronica Mejabi -Senior Lecturer, University of Ilorin, Nigeria presented highlights of their case studies and fielded questions from the audience. The session was moderated by Linet Kwamboka of the Kenya ICT Authority.

This post summarise the session, and includes collected tweets and media from the event.

Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries network meeting & Open Knowledge Festival sessions report

Since early 2013, researchers from the Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries research network have been carrying out case study research into the supply, use and outcomes of open data in various countries and contexts across the world. This first phase of the ODDC project has primarily been based around exploratory research. A second phase is now starting which looks to consolidate learning, and synthesise findings from the 17 projects carried out in Phase I.

Network members met for a workshop in Berlin on 14th and 15th July to bring together their research findings so far, and to plan future activities. This was followed by a public research sharing event, and a series of workshops held as part of the 2014 Open Knowledge Festival.

This report summarises content and discussions from these events. It is not a full synthesis of research findings or messages from the events. For initial insights from across the research cases please see the Open Data in Developing Countries ­ Emerging Insights from Phase I. A full research synthesis is forthcoming in Q4 2014.

Research Sharing Event - 15th July 2014

On 15th July 2014 the Open Data in Developing Countries project will be hosted a research sharing event at the Wikimedia Centre in Berlin, just ahead of the Open Knowledge Festival.

As well as sharing our latest synthesis report (PDF), the event included three in-depth panel discussions on research and capacity building, taking data nearer to citizes, and taking a sectoral approach to open data.

Sharing ODDC updates in Montreal

ODDC Coordinator Tim has been in Montreal this week for the Developers for Development hackaton and confernce, taking part in a panel today on Impact of Open Data in Developing Countries. Below are Tim's slides and notes from his talk. A version of this presentation was also given by Web Foundation CEO Anne Jelema at the Data and Accountability for the Post-2015 Development Framework event in New York.