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Call for proposals: open data in developing countries research

José M. Alonso · July 11, 2012

[cross-posted from the project site at]

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In recent years, a diverse coalition of actors has pushed the creation and diffusion of open data programmes around the world. Governments, international organizations, businesses, academics, media, civil society  organizations, and web developers have embraced and sponsored open data programs, creating large expectations for open data as a suitable remedy for challenges of good governance, economic growth, social inclusion, innovation, and participation.

Though in many cases this potential may be realised, there is a need for a critical perspective on whether the outcomes indeed occur and under what circumstances.

The Web Foundation and International Development Research Centre are inviting research proposals that address current gaps in the evidence base underlying the implementation of open data initiatives, and to inform policy and practice in a range of different settings. Research partners will be invited to form part of an international research network over the course of 2013.

The project will fund a series of detailed case studies that examine the emerging impacts of specific on-going open data initiatives that address key development themes. Cases could look at:

  • Open data in local and national budgeting processes
  • Open data for legislation processes and elections
  • Open data in judicial systems
  • Open data for smarter cities
  • Open data for the delivery of  privately provided public services
  • Open data for the regulation of markets (e.g. extractive industries)
  • Open data for the welfare and empowerment of marginalized groups and communities (e.g. data for small farmers)
  • Open data and international development

The call for proposals sets out full details of what we are looking for in the case studies, and the process for application.

As a result of this call, we expect to issue a series of grants ranging from USD$25,000 to USD$75,000. It is expected that smaller grants will focus on small, single-country or local initiative cases, and larger grants can include a wider range of activities such as  multi-country comparisons of open data about a particular governance domain (e.g. budget, cities, extractive industries), technical assistance to on-going initiatives and/or significant engagement with relevant policy dialogues.  The duration of each project will not exceed 12 months, with projects expected to start in early 2012.

The closing date for the call is 10th September 2012.

Download the call:
Call for proposals (HTML)
Call for proposals (Word, Docx)
Call for proposals (Open Office Document)
Call for proposals (PDF)

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