Catalyzing the growth of the Kenya tech community

Open Data in Developing Countries

By Leo Mutuku
Uncategorized
  Published 22 Feb 2013
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Open Data in Developing Countries

iHub Research is pleased to formally announce the commencement of a new project named “Understanding the impacts of Code4Kenya open data applications and services”. This research is part of a two –year research program titled  ‘Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries‘ (or Open Data in Developing Countries- ODDC), coordinated by theWorld Wide Web Foundationand funded through grant 107075from theInternational Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada).

 

 

The aim of the research program is to understand the dynamics of both open data policy and practice across the developing world, paying attention to the dynamics of open data use across different geographies and contexts, and looking at both positive impacts of open data, and unintended consequences. Through southern-led research cases, it seeks to develop a deeper understanding of developing country contexts and to determine the potential benefits and challenges of open data in such locations, supporting comparisons and contrasts to be drawn with early open data models from the US (data.gov) and the UK (data.gov.uk).

Overall, ODDC will conduct 17 independent case studies in 14 countries and iHub Research’s project will explore emerging impacts of open Data in Kenya, alongside another local study. This will also form part 2 of a previous study on the same initiative.

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 will explore the long-term impacts of this outreach initiative, focusing particularly on work relating to counties, health, and education sectors. This will contribute to understanding of the role that technology intermediaries play in facilitating impacts from open data, and to an assessment of the value of interventions that stimulate and incubate tech community uses of open data.

This research will run for a period of 9 months with regular updates posted on our blog as well as the program’s website.

Read more about the research program and the Open Data Research Network here.

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