Web Foundation Final Technical Report (2016): Harnessing Open Data to Achieve Development Results in Asia and Africa (Open Data in Asia and Africa, ODAA)
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Executive summary  

The overall objective of previous Web Foundation research conducted as part of the Exploring Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC) project was to produce knowledge about effective strategies for employing open data as a means to achieve greater quality of openness in government, to support citizens’ rights and to promote more inclusive development in developing countries. As a research project, ODDC sought to provide the insights required to progress the more action ­oriented objective of the Open Data for Development program, that is, to scale effective and viable open data solutions for economic growth and social development.

The Harnessing Open Data to Achieve Development Results in Asia and Africa project was more action­ oriented and sought to maximize the development benefits accruing from open data in Africa and Asia by identifying, developing, implementing and evaluating sustainable and locally appropriate open data policies and practice. Research themes, partners and methods were selected to ensure a healthy mix of experiential learning through hands ­on innovation combined with robust research frameworks and targeted capacity­ building and networking of key organizations in the respective country’s open data spaces. The research agenda was further refined through engagement with key regional stakeholders and open data experts from a range of sectors such as government, media, civil society and academia in two regional workshops in Jakarta, Indonesia and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Working with a diverse set of partners on a broad range of sector-specific challenges and applying appropriate support and mentoring strategies allowed for targeted exploration of demand-driven and ecosystem approach to open data in developing countries. Taken together, the findings from the various projects each contribute to our understanding of how open data ecosystems operate and thrive. Design and scaling open data solutions and interventions that are mindful of these insights will allow open data to impact positively on the lives of ordinary citizens in developing countries.

Read the full Web Foundation’s Final Technical Report (2016).