Open Data in Developing Countries, OGP Pre-Conference and Civic Data Challenge #DataDigest

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A review of Open Data initiatives in Developing Countries is provided as well as some insight into how chiefs’ centres, religious institutions and the media including radio are key to getting information to citizens.  The Open Government Partnership is inviting civil society organisations to a Pre Conference event and you organisations are encouraged to get involved in the 2013 Civic Data Challenge

Open Data
Publication: Researching the emerging impacts of open data - ODDC conceptual framework
The World Wide Web Foundation has just published a report for their Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries (ODDC) project. It reviews existing literature on open data, transparency and accountability, the economic re-use of data, and inclusion and empowerment to set out the conceptual framework which will guide this work. It also outlines case studies being undertaken over 2013-2014.

Save the Date – OGP Pre-Conference, London Wednesday 30th October
The next Open Government Partnership Annual Conference is taking place on 31st October and 1st November in London, As a lead into the main event, a 1-day civil society Pre-Conference event will be held on 30th October in collaboration with the Open Knowledge Foundation. Discussions will be held on open government data, the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and more. There will also be workshops and space for individual communities groups to meet, share and plan.

A Deeper Dive for Open Data: Josh Goldstein on Code 4 Kenya
In this interview with World Bank’s Josh Goldstein the successes, challenges and lessons being learnt from the Code4Kenya project are discussed. By placing fellows and developer teams to work inside government, civil society and media organizations it hopes the local tech community will be more involved in using data to solve public sector problems. Code for Kenya fellows are helping media companies, an important intermediary between government and citizens, to translate data into stories and services of relevance to Kenyans. One challenge identified is a tendency to zero into an organizations own focus, and not necessarily the core problems. He also notes that changing the culture of some of these organizations actually had a knock on effect on other organizations in the ecosystem.

2013 Civic Data Challenge
The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) launched the 2013 Civic Data Challenge with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Challenge consists of three phases: Ideation, Creation, and Implementation and it is now in the midst of the Creation Phase. They are asking coders, developers, designers, data scientists, civil society leaders etc to collaborate and work with data, engage with the community and create useful and impactful applications and visualizations. Participants are encouraged to develop one of the ideas shared during Ideation or create their own.

Field work notes: chiefs' centres and churches could be critical for access to open data for marginalised communities
The Jesuit Hakimani Centre reports that while there are numerous initiatives aimed at encouraging governments and public sector to make their data open to the public it is still difficult to understand how open data can be linked to improved service delivery, accountability and transparency and how different data users will access it. A large gap between the data provider and users still exists for disadvantaged communities. They found that institutions such as the local chiefs’ centres, church, mosques, social networks, local media (radio) and constituency offices are crucial information sources for people living in marginalised areas. Data journalism also plays a critical role in making the information accessible to larger audience.