Lab established to explore open data solutions to challenges facing Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
The World Wide Web Foundation has today announced that its first ‘Open Data Lab’ will officially open its doors on 5 February in Jakarta, Indonesia. To mark the occasion, a launch event will be held at the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel’s Istana Ballroom. Open data enthusiasts and experts from across the region will gather to present and discuss how open data’s potential can be harnessed to fight poverty, tackle corruption and build successful businesses. Hosting the evening will be Anne Jellema, CEO of the Web Foundation, who will be joined by a representative of the Jakarta City Governor.
The first in a planned network of Labs, the Open Data Lab Jakarta will experiment with open data in a number of ways. Using a combination of research, incubation, training and engagement, the goal is to accelerate progress and ensure that open data rapidly becomes a vital tool to tackle practical problems in developing and emerging economies. Pre-launch, the Lab team has already been hard at work on projects in Jakarta, other areas in Indonesia, and all across the region, and will be sharing early learnings from these on launch night.
Open data has been gaining momentum in the past year across the Southeast Asia region, especially in Indonesia. In the World Wide Web Foundation’s recently released Open Data Barometer, Indonesia ranked 36th — the top-ranked emerging economy and the biggest climber in the 86-country study. This reflects the increasing readiness, implementation and impact of open data in the country. A recent notable use of open data saw enhanced transparency in the vote-tallying during last year’s elections*.
Commenting, Jose M. Alonso, head of the Web Foundation’s Open Data programme, said:
“We are delighted to open our first Open Data Lab in Jakarta. President Jokowi has laid out a vision of an Indonesia with less corruption, greater transparency and enhanced democratic participation. Open data, accessed through a free and open Web, has the potential to deliver these benefits. Through our plans for capacity building and innovation, we are confident the Open Data Lab will play a significant role in achieving these aims, benefitting all Indonesians and sparking a movement across Southeast Asia.”
Ford Foundation’s Senior Program Officer, Alexander Irwan, added:
“In the past six years, Indonesia has become more unequal. The Gini Coefficient Index of the country increased from 0.364 in 2007 to 0.413 in 2013. As a philanthropic organization that promotes social justice, Ford Foundation considers lack of access to information as a driver of inequality. We provide support to the promotion of open data with the goal of making data and information accessible to the citizens at large, and not just to policy makers and business entities. Democratic participation in public decision-making to make policies and budget allocations responsive to the needs of the poor and marginalized can only be meaningful and effective if it is based on accurate and up-to-date data and information.”
Stay updated on our Jakarta Lab Launch by following @ODLabJkt on Twitter using #ODAsia2015
*These initiatives were not done by, or with the Jakarta Lab, but instead are efforts of Kawal Pemilu and Pemilu API. All credits for the success of their initiatives are theirs, including our admiration for their remarkable use of open data for government transparency.