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

Published Date: 13/11/2017

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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: (a) the conditions under which open data is most (and least) effective in development, presented in the form of a Periodic Table of Open Data; (b) strategies to maximize the positive contributions of open data to development; and (c) the means for limiting open data’s harms on developing countries.



List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1 Introduction



Chapter 2 The Relevance of Open Data for Developing Economies

Chapter 3 The Impact of Open Data on Developing Economies

Chapter 4 The Impact of Open Data in Developing Economies across Sectors



Open Data’s Impact on Improving Government

Chapter 5 Burundi’s Open RBF

Chapter 6 India’s ESMI

Chapter 7 Open Development Cambodia

Chapter 8 Uganda’s iParticipate


Open Data’s Impact on Empowering Citizens

Chapter 9 GotToVote! Kenya

Chapter 10 Tanzania’s Open Education Dashboards

Chapter 11 South Africa’s Medicine Price Registry


Open Data’s Impact on Creating Opportunity

Chapter 12 Acl.mate Colombia

Chapter 13 Ghana’s Esoko

Chapter 14 Jamaica’s Interactive Community Mapping


Open Data’s Impact on Solving Public Problems

Chapter 15 Nepal Earthquake Recovery

Chapter 16 Paraguay’s Dengue Prediction



Chapter 17 Leveraging Open Data as a New Asset for Development


Appendix A: Input Received

Reviews (4)


  1. This book offers practical, evidence-based frameworks to help us understand how open data efforts can be designed, implemented, and measured for meaningful impact. With concise language and clear thoughts, this book is an accessible, relevant, and honest read for a broad audience, including practitioners, policymakers, donors, and implementing partners. Anyone seeking to grasp the current state-of-play of the open data landscape, to ground their understanding in practical use-cases, and to move forward armed with actionable frameworks will find value in this book.

  2. Amparo Ballivian
    Amparo Ballivian 14/11/2017 at 7:18 pm .

    The book is an important contribution to understand how Open Data supports economic and social development processes. It does so using real-world examples in multiple domains and geographic areas. By leveraging the power of demonstration effects, it is a highly useful addition to the arsenal of advocacy tools available to both development and Open Data practitioners.

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