City governments play a vital role in building communities where people can live, work, and play, as well as fostering resilient and sustainable development. Cities are responsible for providing basic services that most directly impact the lives of the public. There is a growing movement to give people access to the data and information that they need to hold city leaders to account for the decisions they make and the services they deliver.
For this report, the Charter and OpenNorth investigated the opportunities and challenges faced by cities improving their open data programme, and specifically the role that the Charter can play in supporting this process.
We spoke to government officials, politicians and civil society from four cities (Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg) and one province (Ontario) in Canada, as well as three international cities (Lviv – Ukraine, Buenos Aires – Argentina and Durham – US).
The overall objective of the Report is to provide a comprehensive review of data ecosystem in the perspective of emerging data revolution. Based on this review, the Report also aims to identify common problems challenging countries and propose action plans applicable in the regional context, hence ultimately to support data stakeholders in Africa in meeting new data demand from SDG and Agenda 2063.
Specifically, the Report seeks to:
- Capture the current situation of data ecosystem […] in Africa based on the in-depth country assessments. This review will serve as baseline against which progress of data revolution could be monitored in subsequent publications;
- Identify data communities in the selected countries for country assessment and areas for existing/potential cooperation; deliberate on the ways how to gear the data ecosystem components to create a more conducive environment for the partnership;
- Analyze the new SDG data needs and new data sources to identify the data gaps;
- Share good practices of data revolution and take stock of innovations, and
- Promote the coordination role of National Statistical Offices in the data ecosystem
With its focus on developing country contexts, the research of the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries, combined with the research proposed by this study, offers the opportunity to contribute to our theoretical understanding of change processes in institutions. In particular, insight can be gained as to the socio-technical conditions under which open data initiatives in public agencies are more or less likely to succeed in the institutional domains under examination.
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.
How can developing countries secure the full benefits of open data? What barriers are blocking greater impacts? And how can open data be implemented in ways that respond to local context, and that build on existing policy and practice of foundations?
To address questions like these, the Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC) research network has been gathering information on open data activities across 13 different countries on three continents. Using a mixed-methods case study research, 17 local research partners have developed in-depth accounts on the supply, mediation and use of open data in diverse settings: from budget scrutiny to oversight of judicial systems.
This briefing offers 15 initial insights generated from a preliminary synthesis of this research, offered as a basis for further conversations.