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

November 28, 2017 by Stefaan G. Verhulst, Andrew Young

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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.