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Open Data Lessons Learned Papers

October 26, 2016

In our Open Data Lab‘s lessons learned papers, we reflect on our experiences with various projects, studies, and activities. With them, we share our perspective on the successes and shortcomings of each project. We hope these lessons can inform and inspire others working on similar projects. Email us at


ProjectDescriptionPapers for download
Starting Conversations between Citizens and the State with Open Data: Insights from the Education Sector in Banda Aceh, Indonesia


This paper summarises how Banda Aceh was able to use open data to stimulate greater demand for information. The keys to success were a participatory, bottom-up process in which civil society groups identified which datasets would be most valuable to them, coupled with close collaboration with the government to build the trust needed to release that data—an approach we refer to as ‘responsive open data model’.


Open Data and Fiscal Transparency:
How Can We Unlock the Benefits?


Every day, national, regional, and local governments spend vast sums of citizens’ tax money. However, all too often, there is a lack of transparency around how these public funds are spent. In Indonesia and the Philippines, civil society groups have consistently clamoured for more accountability in public finances in areas such as procurement, education, and infrastructure. This paper summarises the approach we used and the lessons we learned as we explored how open data might best be harnessed for fiscal transparency in the region.