Open Data Barometer 3rd Edition – Regional Report Africa

The 3rd Edition of the World Wide Web Foundation’s Open Data Barometer (ODB), released in April 2016 and covering 92 countries, ranks nations on three open data criteria:

  • Readiness: How prepared are governments for open data initiatives ? What policies are in place?
  • Implementation: Are governments putting their commitments into practice ?
  • Impact: Is open government data being used in ways that bring practical benefit ?

In this regional report we dig deeper into the Barometer’s results to take a closer look at the performance of the 21 Sub-Saharan African countries featured in the latest edition. The purpose of this regional analysis is to use the rich data to assess the state of play of open data across Africa, evaluating the readiness of African governments to implement open data practice and realise its potential to impact positively on the lives of citizens.

Open Data Inventory

The Open Data Inventory is designed to evaluate the coverage and openness of data published on NSO websites. While some countries have more than 100 offices and agencies that produce official government statistics,[5]  we only consider data that can be found on the NSO website or for which the NSO website provides a direct link. Currently, the most accessible data for many countries are available only on the websites and in the databanks of international organizations. This should not be the case. Governments and their statistical offices are the source of much of the data that appear in international databases and should provide open and timely access to these data.

Traditionally NSOs have disseminated data through yearbooks, abstracts, and paper publications. However, with the rapidly expanding growth of the Internet in every part of the world, all but six countries have established websites for their NSOs.  By examining the content of NSO websites, we are able to observe what is available to a typical user of NSO data without placing an administrative burden on government agencies by asking them to respond to questionnaires or other interrogatives.

The Open Data Inventory focuses on what we call “macrodata.” By this we mean indicators that have been aggregated above the unit record level. Microdata — survey responses and administrative records — are the ultimate source for most macrodata. If proper privacy measures are put in place, microdata should also be released by governments as open data. However macrodata are the final products of the national statistical system that are used to monitor development trends and guide public and private decision making. The breadth of topics covered in the official statistics provided by NSOs and their adherence to standards for open access are therefore relevant measures of the functioning of national statistical systems.

Open Data Barometer 3rd Edition

Produced by the World Wide Web Foundation as a collaborative work of the Open Data for Development (OD4D) network and with the support of the Omidyar Network, the Open Data Barometer (ODB) aims to uncover the true prevalence and impact of open data initiatives around the world. It analyses global trends, and provides comparative data on countries and regions using an in-depth methodology that combines contextual data, technical assessments and secondary indicators.

Covering 92 countries in the present edition, the Barometer ranks nations on:

  • Readiness for open data initiatives
  • Implementation of open data programmes
  • Impact that open data is having on business, politics and civil society

This is the third edition of the Barometer. After two successful pilots, this edition marks another step towards becoming a global policy making tool with a participatory and inclusive process and a strong regional focus. For the first time, this year’s ODB includes an assessment of countries against the International Open Data Charter principles.

The Barometer is a truly global and collaborative effort, with input from more than 150 researchers and government representatives. It takes over six months and more than 9,000 hours of research work to compile. During this process, we address more than 14,000 questions and respond to more than 5,000 comments and suggestions.

This report is intended to be a summary of some of the most striking findings. The full data is available online, and intended to support further secondary research into the progression of open data policies and practices across the world.

World Bank Open Data Toolkit

WB Description

The World Bank Open Government Toolkit is a collection of online tools and knowledge which provides guidance to governments to support them to create their own open data strategies and platforms.

The World Bank Open Government Data Toolkit has been included in the Open Data Charter Resource Centre with permission from our generous colleagues at the World Bank.

Below you will find a quick mapping of the Charter Principles to the sections of the World Bank Toolkit.

• For information related to the Charter preamble, see the sections entitled “Open Data in 60 Seconds” and “Demand and Engagement”
• For implementation of Principle 1, see the sections entitled “Starting an Open Data Initiative” and “Supply and Quality of Data”
• For implementation of Principle 2, see the section entitled “Demand and Engagement”
• For implementation of Principle 3, see the sections entitled “Open Data Essentials” and “Technology Options”
• For implementation of Principle 4, see the section entitled “Supply and Quality of Data”
• For implementation of Principle 5, see the section entitled “Supply and Quality of Data”
• For implementation of Principle 6, see the section entitled “Supply and Quality of Data”

GPSDD Data4SDGs Toolbox

Countries around the world are in the process of harnessing the data revolution for sustainable development. The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data supports country-led efforts to advance whole-of-government and multi-stakeholder Data Roadmaps for Sustainable Development.

One way it does so is through the Data4SDGs Toolbox, a set of tools, methods and resources developed by Data Champions from around the world, adapted and compiled by the Global Partnership.

The Data4SDGs Toolbox will help countries to create and implement their own holistic data roadmaps for sustainable development — roadmaps that are responsive to and drive positive change on the ground. The Toolbox will address institutional, policy, technical, resources and capacity issues, among other things. It will help countries to address challenges and seize new opportunities in the collection and use of real-time, dynamic, disaggregated data to achieve and monitor the SDGs and their own sustainable development priorities.

The Toolbox is being developed using an iterative, multi-stakeholder approach that is informed by an ongoing series of consultations and national workshops — at national and subnational levels — in countries around the world. It is intended to help:

•        Coordinate multi-stakeholder and institutional arrangements to ensure country ownership on roadmap implementation.
•        Align SDG data roadmaps with national priorities and building on existing plans.
•        Prioritize efforts to increase and improve the utilization of data for decision-making, citizen empowerment, innovation and entrepreneurship.
•        Define the essential minimum package of SDG data.
•        Establish SDG monitoring baselines.
•        Identify key data gaps and action plans for filling data gaps.
•        Identify opportunities and risks for the use of new sources of data.
•        Develop interim milestones on SDG targets.
•        Support capacity building and innovation for the generation, sharing and utilization of data at national and subnational levels.

An initial set of modules are now available for use or are in development as depicted in the Toolbox framework to the right.  This is an iterative process where the modules will further develop and refine based on user feedback and additional inputs through our network of Partners.