[open-development] Announcing Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries project

Tim Davies tim at practicalparticipation.co.uk
Tue Feb 19 16:16:07 UTC 2013

Hello all,

I thought you might be interested in the project below;  I shared the call
for proposals relating to this last year, and we've now selected a great
network of case study partners working with us to track the way open data
is being used in the global south over the next year. We'll be sharing
regular updates through the project newsletter and website (
www.opendataresearch.org / @odrnetwork) and welcome your thoughts on the
key issues for research through the Linked In group at

I've been working with Web Foundation on putting the project together, and
will be working as the research coordinator for the project over the coming
year. I'm looking forward to engaging with various members of this
community as we explore the important research questions, and how to ensure
the findings emerging from our work can inform practical work on open data
across the world.

Tim Davies

Announcement from the Web Foundation site:

Announcing research programme into open data in developing countries

We are pleased to announce the launch of ‘Exploring the Emerging Impacts of
Open Data in Developing Countries <http://www.opendataresearch.org/>‘
(ODDC), a two-year research programme co-ordinated by the World Wide Web
Foundation <http://www.webfoundation.org/> and established with funding
from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC,
Canada).<http://www.idrc.ca/EN/Pages/default.aspx> See
www.opendataresearch.org for more details.

In few short years open data has moved from being a niche interest in a few
countries, to become part of the global policy mainstream, promoted widely
by civil society, multilateral institutions, and by the Open Government
Partnership. The ODDC project seeks 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 <http://www.data.gov/>) and the UK (data.gov.uk

Armed with deeper insight and analysis of open data in a developing world
context, ODDC project partners and stakeholders will be able to more
efficiently engage global and local policymakers and practitioners to
improve the developmental outcomes of open data initiatives in the
developing world.
The Research Agenda

The core research objectives of this project aim to:


   Support critical evaluation of the claims made for the benefits of open

   Identify strategies through which open data can be employed as a tool of
   pro-poor and sustainable development;

   Identify unintended consequences of open data policies and practices,
   and highlight strategies to mitigate these;

   Identify the mechanisms through which open data can bring about change,
   and the factors that affect their successful operation, paying particular
   attention to the wider institutional, political and social systems in which
   open data use is embedded;

   Inform the significant investments of money and time being put into open
   data by national governments, funders, multilateral institutions and
   grassroots groups, and contribute to the efficient and effective targeting
   of resources, based on reasonable expectations about the potential returns
   from open data.

Studying Case Countries

ODDC will conduct 17 independent case studies in 14 countries, drawing
diverse samples and contexts to explore the emerging impacts of open data
in relation to particular governance issues – from budget monitoring or
regulation of extractive industries, to management of city infrastructure
or involvement of marginalised communities in decision-making. Each study
will include a number of shared components, supporting a broad, comparative
analysis of how open data is developing in various locations, and in
relation to different substantive issues.

Initial case-study countries include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India,
Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, Sierra Leone,
South Africa, Uganda and Uruguay.
Building the Open Data Research Network

To better realize the positive benefits of open data, much work is needed
to fill the gaps in empirical evidence upon which open data initiatives are
based. ODDC will continue to host researchers from the global south to
explore open data in action, where it meets the processes of governance,
and to provide a critical perspective on whether the promised outcomes do
indeed occur and under what circumstances.

Learn more about the Open Data Research Network and join the Network’s
LinkedIn group<http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Open-Data-Research-Network-4790214>
 (http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Open-Data-Research-Network-4790214) or
follow the conversation at @odrnetwork <http://twitter.com/odrnetwork>
Developing a Common Assessment for Measuring Open Data

A key outcome of the ODDC project will be a robust, methodologically sound
Common Assessment tool measuring the shared components of open data
initiatives in the developing world. This Common Assessment tool will
provide the analytical foundation upon which to build further assessment
models and will greatly assist the field of open data research.

Visit  <http://www.opendataresearch.org/>www.opendataresearch.org to learn
more about this exciting exploration into open data and for details on how
to get involved.
Be sure to sign up for the quarterly newsletter <http://eepurl.com/sjNpH> to
stay up to date on research developments and publications.
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