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Exploring Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries: Phase One

July 15, 2014

Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC) is a multi-country, multi-year study to understand the use and impact of open data in developing countries across the world. Over a hundred researchers from the global South have been involved in developing 17 qualitative case studies with findings that span 13 countries, from Indonesia to Brazil. These studies describe a wide range of open data efforts, including top-down initiated projects, led by governments and donors; bottom-up efforts, led by technology communities or civil society organisations; and sector-specific initiatives focussed on very specific datasets.

A synthesis report from Phase I of the study highlights fifteen emerging insights and common themes. The results from the individual case studies are available below.

Opening the Cities: Open Government Data in Local Governments of Argentina, Brazil and UruguayFabrizio Scrolini, Silvana Fumega, Ricardo MatheusThrough independent studies using a shared framework looking at city open data initiatives in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) these studies build towards a comparative assessment of how open data is supplied and used in urban areas in Latin America.Reports:
Sao Paulo
Buenos Aires
BrazilExploring the impacts of online budget information at the sub-national level in BrazilResearch Group on Public Policies for Information Access, University of Sao PauloThis project analysed the Cuidando do Meu Bairro initiative (Caring for my neighbourhood), an online tool visualising budget and spend data for the city of São Paulo on an interactive map. The project explored whether the platform led to a better public understanding of municipal budgets, how budget information is used, and how public managers respond to citizen use of the data.
BrazilOpen data, public budget and its relations to people’s rights in BrazilInstituto de Estudos SocioeconomicosThis project analyses whether Brazil’s national and state capitals are using principles and practices of Open Data in their disclosures, and evaluates the impacts of open budget data disclosed through the national transparency portal. Report
IndiaOpen government data for regulation of energy resource industries in IndiaThe Energy and Research InstituteExamining the availability, accessibility and use of Open Data in the extractive energy industries sector in India, this project looks at the impact of existing instruments and initiatives relating to coal, petroleum and natural gas, and explores opportunities to enhance the openness of government data for the extractive resource sector.Report
IndiaOpening government data by mediation: exploring the roles, practices and strategies of data intermediary organisations in IndiaHasGeekThis study explores the existence of open data intermediary organisations in India, surveying and interviewing NGOs to understand current and possible data access practices.Report
IndiaThe quality of civic data in India and the implications on the push for Open DataTransparent Chennai, Institute for Financial Management and ResearchIf data is unreliable, relying on it for better urban management may lead to further marginalization of already vulnerable communities. This project examines three kinds of municipal data: data on informal settlements, access to water and sanitation, and public health data. Structured as a case study in each of these sectors, the project documents the way data is collected by government agencies and departments, how it is used in planning and policymaking, the availability of data to the public, and the implications of poor data quality on citizens.
IndonesiaExploring the Open Data Initiative of the Ministry of Finance on National Budget Transparency in IndonesiaSinergantaraIndonesian national budget data has been online in PDF format since 2003, but there have been recent moves to publish raw open budget data. This project focuses on this development, exploring the influence of governance structures; the supply and demand of budget data; the social and technical intermediaries that support the flow of data to users; the sustainability of the initiative; and how Open Data standards, technologies and institutions affect the initiative’s development.Report
KenyaUnderstanding the impacts on Kenya Open Data applications and servicesiHub ResearchThis project explores the long-term impacts of the Code4Kenya project, focussing particularly on work relating to water, health, and education sectors. The Code4Kenya is an outreach initiative, supporting intermediaries to use datasets to develop applications and services which make data more accessible and that promote transparency, accountability, citizen engagement and improved public service delivery. Report
KenyaInvestigating the Impact of Kenya’s Open Data Initiative on Marginalized Communities: Case Study of Urban Slums and Rural SettlementsJesuit Hakimani CentreThe launch of Kenya’s portal made a wide range of public datasets available. This study looks at how far the initiative has been able to reach people in urban slums and rural settlements. It explores how far the Open Data initiative has increased public access to information on key social policies and services, exploring where the initiative has been successful, and where there are areas to improve impact on marginalised communities.Research Findings
How Open Data could contribute to poverty eradication in Kenya and Uganda through its impacts on resource allocationDevelopment Initiatives

Development, Research and Training
Using case studies this project examines the evolution of the Open Data movement in Kenya and Uganda and assesses the role that the movement plays in the equitable allocation of financial resources for the eradication of extreme and chronic poverty. It also explores potential negative effects of the digital divide, and whether access to data leads to effective use.Research Findings
NepalExploring the use and impacts of open budget and aid data in NepalFreedom ForumThis project tests the assumptions that openness in public life delivers positive development outcomes such as greater participation, more accountability and reduced corruption. Research Paper
NigeriaAn Investigation of the use of the Online National Budget of NigeriaUniversity of IlorinThis study investigates how the public engage in the discussions of the national budget, their awareness of Open Data and its potential to drive good governance. The study also explores potential challenges to effective use of open budget data.Case Study Report
PhilippinesOpening the Gates: Will Open Data Initiatives Make Local Governments in the Philippines More Transparent?Step Up Consultants

Open LGU Research Project
This project explores how the sharing of governance information online impacted local government systems, and how the information and data was accessed and used by civil society representatives and intermediary groups.Research Paper
PhilippinesOpen Government in the Philippines: exploring the role of open government data and the use of new technologies in the delivery of public servicesDe La Salle UniversityThis study explores the potential of open data in two priority development areas in the Philippines: Maternal Health and Childcare (MHCC) and Micro-Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME). Through a case study approach it looks at opportunities where open data techniques can be used to support practices in these areas, exploring the type of data sets, their current use, and how ICT can be used by local stakeholders to better benefit from data availability.Report
Sierra LeoneTaking Stock of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Open Data Initiatives in Sierra LeoneSociety for Democratic InitiativesThis study examines how a country in transition can entrench transparency and accountability by instituting open government policies that provide access to, and promote the publication of data. The project explores the challenges faced in the implementation and uptake of existing Open Data policies, and how these may be overcome.
South AfricaThe use of Open Data in the governance of South African higher educationUniversity of Cape Town

Open UCT
Drawing on an eco-systems perspective, this study analyses the flow of higher education administrative data within South Africa, focusing in particular on a Centre for Higher Education Transformation (CHET) project that provides higher education performance information as open data.Case Study
Open Data in the Judicial Systems: Evaluating Emerging Impact on Policy Design in Uruguay, Chile and ArgentinaCentro de Implementacion de Politicas Publicas para la Equidad y el CrecimientoLooking at developments in Open Data production, collection and publication by the judicial branches of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, this project explores where data is available and where it is missing, and whether court users and civil society are aware of and using existing datasets. The project also considers the importance of standards for Open Data in the judicial system.Case Study

Results from ODDC phases two and three of the ODDC project are now also available.

This project is supported by the Open Data for Development (OD4D) program, a partnership funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the World Bank, United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC).