While open data can be used to benefit many areas, this report identifies three where it could have a significant impact in the next development agenda and beyond.
Open data can:
- more effectively target aid money and improve development programmes,
- track development progress and prevent corruption, and
- contribute to innovation, job creation, and economic growth.
To achieve these aims, the development community must address many challenges, including:
- a weak enabling environment for open data publishing
- poor data quality
- a mismatch between the demand for open data and the supply of appropriate datasets
- a ‘digital divide’ between rich and poor, affecting both the supply and use of data
- and a general lack of quantifiable data and metrics.
With these challenges in mind, the report sets out ways that governments, donors and (international) NGOs – with the support of researchers, civil society and industry – can apply open data to help make the SDGs a reality:
- Reach global consensus around principles and standards, namely being ‘open by default’, using the Open Government Partnership’s Open Data Working Group as a global forum for discussion.
- Embed open data into funding agreements, ensuring that relevant, high-quality data is collected to report against the SDGs. Funders should mandate that data relating to performance of services, and data produced as a result of funded activity, be released as open data.
- Build a global partnership for sustainable open data, so that groups across the public and private sectors can work together to build sustainable supply and demand for data in the developing world.