Blog

Blog

How To Fight Corruption During a Pandemic September 30, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has opened up plenty of opportunities for graft. We spoke with Global Integrity to learn how their anti-corruption coalition is adapting to this new environment. The old adage ‘every crisis is an opportunity’ has been thrown ...

Mutual Aid and Community Support in Indonesia: The Story of AtmaGo July 1, 2020

An adaptable mutual aid platform from Indonesia has helped countless communities to organise. What lessons does it have for other data-sharing projects? Gotong Royong. Wikipedia defines it as a concept of sociality familiar to large parts ...

The Crowdsourcing Model for Open Data Portals April 24, 2020

Maintaining open data portals is taxing and requires consistency. Leveraging a community of data enthusiasts may be your way of keeping up with data demand. In my last blog post, I had a look at the Kenya open data portal, a well-intentioned ...

Are We Losing The Battle For Data Literacy? March 9, 2020

Data literacy is a crucial skill to help people to navigate a world ruled by data, and riddled with misinformation. There’s no time to waste in sharing these skills far and wide. As an open data practitioner I find that I’m frequently asking myself ...

Goodwill Is Not Enough to Make Open Data Work February 24, 2020

Government open data portals are important, but they’re little more than facades for transparency unless they’re updated, maintained, and user-centred. 2011 was a big year for the Kenya open data community. The government, with help from the World ...

Open & Shut — 2020 Vision January 24, 2020

Hello again! As you may have noticed, Open & Shut has been on a bit of a hiatus for the last year or so. This blog was first created in 2017 as a space for open data advocates and practitioners to grapple with some challenging questions around the ...

Opening New Doors — The Pioneering Work of Open Data Kosovo June 25, 2018

Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia a decade ago, the young state’s developing institutions have been forced to grapple with a host of tough challenges. Youth unemployment currently stands at 57.7% according to UNDP, and mass emigration is ...

Understanding How Transparency Works For The US Government February 22, 2018

The State of Transparency in the United States In May 2013, President Barack Obama announced to the world that his administration had issued an ambitious new Open Data Policy. This new policy was unveiled within a broader executive order that mandated ...

Mapping Mali December 7, 2017

Hello and welcome back to Open and Shut! Today we’re joined by Nathalie Sidibe, a young leader from Mali who has been a pioneer of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) platform in West Africa. She will share with us her thoughts and experiences on leading mapping ...

Transitioning from Traditional Journalism to Data Journalism in Cameroon November 23, 2017

Welcome back to Open & Shut! For this post, we got in touch with Ngeunga Madeleine, a journalist based in Cameroon. Using Madeleine’s experiences, we’ll delve into the state of open data in her home country, and track her journey from traditional ...

Finding the Right Tools — How We Rebuilt Iran Open Data On CKAN November 9, 2017

In November 2016, Iran Open Data platform was launched — a civil society-developed open data platform that is working to gather, clean, and structure datasets published by the Iranian government, and make them freely available to citizens, ...

So…Did It Work? — Measuring the Impact of Open Data Projects October 30, 2017

What impacts are you trying to achieve? How can you measure and assess it? And how can we do all of this better? Hello everyone! If you haven’t been following our blog, we recently organised the Open & Shut Conference, where we brought together a ...

Mobilise! — Assembling an Open Data Community October 19, 2017

What do communities look like? How do they organise? Who gets to participate? What constraints do they face? Hello everyone! If you haven’t been following our blog, we recently organised the Open & Shut Conference, where we brought together a range of ...

The Ethics of Open Data Work in Closed Societies October 12, 2017

The concept that sold open data was: “open all the data, people will do wonderful things, and the world will be a better place”. Has open data been sold as something more simple than it actually is? Hello everyone. If you haven’t been following our ...

cMapIT — Building a Startup Powered by Open Data in Nigeria September 19, 2017

Nigeria’s tech scene has been thriving in recent years. From 2012 to 2016, the ICT sector has grown from 6% to 11% of GDP, and was the single fastest growing sector of the economy. The country is Africa’s most populous, and this year it has also ...

Crossing the Bridge — Lessons from Panama September 8, 2017

Welcome to the third and final part of our interview with Nueva Nación. In the last two sections, amongst other things, we spoke about the challenges of data journalism in a country like Panama, the frustrations of poorly-formatted data, and the ...

Uncharted Waters — Making Panama’s Data Open September 7, 2017

Welcome back to the second part of our interview with Ana and Alfonso of Nueva Nación. In the first part we spoke about the workings of Nueva Nación, the state of freedom of information and expression in Panama, and the dangers of whistleblowing and ...

Opening the Floodgates — Open Data in Panama September 6, 2017

Data journalism faces a plethora of challenges in Panama. No Panamanian media outlet has a serious data journalism team, and storytelling often misses out on data and the context it could provide. There are enormous difficulties in accessing ...

Navigating Stormy Waters — g0v.tw’s Lessons for Global Open Government Advocates September 1, 2017

Welcome back to the second part of our interview with Chia-Liang Kao of g0v.tw. In the last edition of Open & Shut we spoke about the influence of the Open Knowledge Foundation rankings upon Taiwanese open data policies, and the general state of the ...

Oceans of Data — g0v.tw and Taiwan’s Open Data Model August 29, 2017

Taiwan has been ranked #1 in the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Global Open Data Index for the last two years. Taiwan’s ascendance has been astonishing, rising from #36 in 2013, to #11 in 2014, and claiming the top position in 2015 and 2016. it has ...

Meeting Nepal’s Open Data Revolutionaries August 24, 2017

Hi there! This week we’re turning to the Himalayan nation of Nepal — perhaps not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about open data pioneers — but we believe Nepal is an interesting case study in lots of ways. We’ll be looking at some of ...