This working paper seeks to contribute to the conversation on open data research, focussing in particular on open data in developing countries.
In the following sections we offer a brief overview of open data definitions and recent development, before turning to look at different approaches for researching open data. We outline a twin-track approach of looking at macro-level assessments of the context open data operates within, and detailed comparative case studies of open data in use. We then focus in on this second track, exploring the need to connect the study of open data to the study of existing governance processes in transparency and accountability, innovation and economy growth, and inclusion and empowerment. We follow this by outlining a number of open data specific issues that cut across different the different settings where open data may be in use. We end by bringing these elements together in a research framework, and outlining some of the ways in which the IDRC/Web Foundation ‘Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries’ research programme will be applying this framework over 2013 – 2015.