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.
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.