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As governments open up vast and complex datasets, the expectation is that our lives as citizens will improve as a consequence of the data being made publicly available. However, there are several stumbling blocks in the path of extracting benefits from open data. On the side of the provider these barriers may include the effort and cost required to convert closed to open data; the cost of providing a user-focused context to ensure the uptake of complex datasets; poor data quality; absence of legal and policy frameworks; a lack of capacity to implement and sustain open data practices; and resistance by data custodians to opening data. On the side of the data user, barriers include lack of access, low levels of data literacy, lack of human, social and financial capital to effectively use
open data, and also to open up and combine several datasets that together can create value for citizens.

With its focus on developing country contexts, the research of the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries, combined with the research proposed by this study, offers the opportunity to contribute to our theoretical understanding of change processes in institutions. In particular, insight can be gained as to the socio-technical conditions under which open data initiatives in public agencies are more or less likely to succeed in the institutional domains under examination.