Following the release of the Web Foundation’s open data readiness assessment in June, we have been engaging with representatives from government, civil society, media and academia in Indonesia to jointly explore viable solutions to the various challenges to open data outlined in our report.
During workshops with civic hackers, journalists and social innovators and in conversations with government officials, social entrepreneurs and researchers, we have learned that there is a significant demand for open data expertise.
After consultations with organizations engaged in the wider ICT for Development space, such as Hivos’ Southeast Asia Technology for Transparency Initiative or the Asia Knowledge and Innovation Lab, we have decided to systematically explore how we could make use of our expertise, networks and experiences to support open data initiatives in Indonesia.
It is with great excitement that today we are officially announcing a planning grant awarded by the Ford Foundation. The grant will enable us to conduct a full feasibility study for a new open data lab in Jakarta, with the aim of building a focal point for everyone interested in open data and help to catalyze positive change towards a more transparent, accountable, participatory and responsive government, and as a stimulus for innovation and economic growth.
Rather than focusing on a single project in a particular domain, we are exploring the creation of an institution that will promote data-driven solutions to practical problems in a range of sectors, such as health, education, public transport, and environment, through capacity building, strategic and technical advice, and research partnerships.
A team of technology and policy experts would advise organizations, conduct trainings, organize events and help to incubate data-based solutions. Moreover, in partnership with the Open Data Research Network we would support research into the implementation and impacts of open data initiatives in the region.
We intend to complete the feasibility and planning phase by February, and depending on the outcomes of this phase, implementation could begin in the first half of 2014.
If you are interested in learning more about our plans, or if you would like to discuss about partnerships and projects, please get in touch by sending an email to Andreas Pawelke.