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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

Anchored in Place: Rethinking universities and development in South Africa

Tensions in South African universities have traditionally centred around equity (particularly access and affordability), historical legacies (such as apartheid and colonialism), and the shape and structure of the higher education system. What has not received sufficient attention, is the contribution of the university to place-based development.

This volume is the first in South Africa to engage seriously with the place-based developmental role of universities. In the international literature and policy there has been an increasing integration of the university with place-based development, especially in cities. This volume weighs in on the debate by drawing attention to the place-based roles and agency of South African universities in their local towns and cities. It acknowledges that universities were given specific development roles in regions, homelands and towns under apartheid, and comments on why sub-national, place-based development has not been a key theme in post-apartheid, higher education planning.

Given the developmental crisis in the country, universities could be expected to play a more constructive and meaningful role in the development of their own precincts, cities and regions. But what should that role be? Is there evidence that this is already occurring in South Africa, despite the lack of a national policy framework? What plans and programmes are in place, and what is needed to expand the development agency of universities at the local level? Who and what might be involved? Where should the focus lie, and who might benefit most, and why? Is there a need perhaps to approach the challenges of college towns, secondary cities and metropolitan centers differently?

This book poses some of these questions as it considers the experiences of a number of South African universities, including Wits, Pretoria, Nelson Mandela University and especially Fort Hare as one of its post-centenary challenges.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

01 Approaches to the university, place and development, Leslie Bank
02 Universities as urban anchor institutions and the social contract in the developed world, Villamizar-Duarte & David Perry

Part 1: Putting South African Universities in their Place
03 Linking knowledge innovation and development in South Africa: National policy and regional variances, Samuel Fongwa
04 The engaged university and the specificity of place: The case of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, François van Schalkwyk & George de Lange
05 Challenges of university–city relationships: Reflections from Wits University and Johannesburg, Alan Mabin
06 Integrating the edges: University of Pretoria’s neighbourhood anchor strategy, Denver Hendricks & Jaime Flaherty
07 Developing an innovation ecosystem through a university coordinated innovation platform: The University of Fort Hare, Sara Grobbelaar

Part 2: A Century of Place-Making: The University of Fort Hare
08 Fort Hare in post-apartheid South Africa, Nico Cloete, Ian Bunting & Tracy Bailey
09 University–community engagement as place-making? A case of the University of Fort Hare and Alice, Jayshree Thakrar
10 Innovation or anchor strategy? City–campus inner city regeneration in East London-Buffalo City, Leslie Bank & Francis Sibanda
11 The politics and pathology of place: Student protests, occupy urbanism and the right to the city in East London, Leslie Bank & Mark Paterson
12 Anti-urbanism and nostalgia for a College Town, Leslie Bank

 

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.