Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young Release New Book, Open Data in Developing Economies

Michelle Winowatan — November 17, 2017

In a new book, Network chief of research Stefaan Verhulst and Network coordinator Andrew Young explore the potential of open government data to create positive impacts in developing economies. The book, which arose out of a collaboration between the GovLab, USAID, FHI 360 and the Web Foundation, is premised on the belief that while there is increasing belief that open data can create social and economic transformation, much of the the evidence to date has focused on high income countries. To address this knowledge gap, Open Data in Developing Economies features 12 case studies on open data initiatives from across the developing world to inform an analysis of the types of impact open data is having, and the conditions under which open data can bring positive social and economic change.

In addition to the case studies, the book offers a number of tools for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers, including the Periodic Table of Open Data, which presents a number of conditions that could either bolster or hamper the effectiveness of the use of open data. It also provides a logic model of open data to enable more a more nuanced understanding of the open data value chain.

The book is available both as a free PDF download, and in a physical version.

From the publisher:

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.

Get the book here.