Opening Government Data through Mediation: Exploring the Roles, Practices and Strategies of Data Intermediary Organisations in India

December 06, 2016 by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

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Beginning in May 2013 as part of the 'Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries' (ODDC) research network managed by the World Wide Web Foundation and supported by the International Development Research Centre, Canada, this study was initially conceptualised by the author and Zainab Bawa of HasGeek Media LLP as a comparative study of organisations working with urban data in India. The proposed project originally planned to locate these policy documents, especially NDSAP, in the context of their actual implications and uses for non­government data practitioners. We wanted to focus on non­government advocacy and research organisations working in the area of urban development across five cities in India – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune – and to map their practices of collecting, accessing, sharing and using government and self­generated urban data, such as those related to property records, geo­spatial data, sanitation and public health, elected representatives etc. The two key questions for the study were: (1) how RTI and NDSAP have transformed approaches and processes of data practices, and (2) can the grounded experience of advocacy and research organisations inform shaping of a more effective and open data policy for India?