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The Social Dynamics of Open Data

The Social Dynamics of Open Data is a collection of peer reviewed papers presented at the 2nd Open Data Research Symposium (ODRS) held in Madrid, Spain, on 5 October 2016. Research is critical to developing a more rigorous and fine-combed analysis not only of why open data is valuable, but how it is valuable and under what specific conditions. The objective of the Open Data Research Symposium and the subsequent collection of chapters published here is to build such a stronger evidence base. This base is essential to understanding what open data’s impacts have been to date, and how positive impacts can be enabled and amplified. Consequently, common to the majority of chapters in this collection is the attempt by the authors to draw on existing scientific theories, and to apply them to open data to better explain the socially embedded dynamics that account for open data’s successes and failures in contributing to a more equitable and just society.

Adoption and Impact of OER in the Global South

Education in the Global South faces several key interrelated challenges, for which Open Educational Resources (OER) are seen to be part of the solution. These challenges include: unequal access to education; variable quality of educational resources, teaching, and student performance; and increasing cost and concern about the sustainability of education. The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project seeks to build on and contribute to the body of research on how OER can help to improve access, enhance quality and reduce the cost of education in the Global South. This volume examines aspects of educator and student adoption of OER and engagement in Open Educational Practices (OEP) in secondary and tertiary education as well as teacher professional development in 21 countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia. The ROER4D studies and syntheses presented here aim to help inform Open Education advocacy, policy, practice and research in developing countries. read more

North-South Knowledge Networks: Towards Equitable Collaboration Between Academics, Donors and Universities

Since the 1990s, internationalisation has become key for institutions wishing to secure funding for higher education and research. For the academic community, this strategic shift has had many consequences. Priorities have changed and been influenced by new ways of thinking about universities, and of measuring their impact in relation to each other and to their social goals. Debates are ongoing and hotly contested.

In this collection, a mix of renowned academics and newer voices reflect on some of the realities of international research partnerships. They both question and highlight the agency of academics, donors and research institutions in the geopolitics of knowledge and power. The contributors offer fresh insights on institutional transformation, the setting of research agendas, and access to research funding, while highlighting the dilemmas researchers face when their institutions are vulnerable to state and donor influence.

Offering a range of perspectives on why academics should collaborate and what for, this book will be useful to anyone interested in how scholars are adapting to the realities of international networking and how research institutions are finding innovative ways to make North–South partnerships and collaborations increasingly fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial.

Open Data in Developing Economies: Toward Building an Evidence Base on What Works and How

Recent years have witnessed considerable speculation about the potential of open data to bring about wide-scale transformation. The bulk of existing evidence about the impact of open data, however, focuses on high-income countries. Much less is known about open data's role and value in low- and middle-income countries, and more generally about its possible contributions to economic and social development.

Open Data for Developing Economies features in-depth case studies on how open data is having an impact across the developing world-from an agriculture initiative in Colombia to data-driven healthcare projects in Uganda and South Africa to crisis response in Nepal. The analysis built on these case studies aims to create actionable intelligence regarding:

-- the conditions under which open data is most (and least) effective in the development process - presented in the form of a new Periodic Table of Open Data;

-- strategies to maximize the positive contributions of open data to development; and

-- means for limiting open data's harms on developing countries.