OD4D is funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Global Affairs Canada, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and is hosted at IDRC. Our work is delivered through an international network of regional hubs as well as through a series of global initiatives. Each hub coordinates regional initiatives, often supporting a further network of stakeholders composed of civil society organizations, governments, and the private sector within the region.
To maximise the use of open data in support of sustainable development, OD4D facilitates collaboration across a wide range of actors or stakeholders – data journalists and advocates, civil society, civic tech, local businesses, local scientists, and government leaders. These stakeholders work collaboratively to promote the ongoing release and use of open data by improving local capacity and data literacy to support innovation in the use of open data. OD4D also supports the delivery of high quality research to inform the development of effective data policies and initiatives that advance the use of open data while balancing the need to ensure fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy. Finally, OD4D also supports global initiatives that monitor impact and progress in the open data field, developing knowledge resources around “what works” to inform sustainable development initiatives across a variety of sectors and communities of practice.
Open Data for Development’s long-term vision has been developed through extensive and ongoing consultation with the open data community since 2015, evolving to meet both global development priorities and grassroots needs. These consultations have included critical discussions at the International Open Data Conferences (IODC), where the global open data community meets biannually to reflect on progress, explore challenges, and strategize to advance open data in support of development goals.
OD4D prioritizes its initiatives within 5 key areas of activity:
OD4D supports capacity building and data literacy for governments, civil society, and data users to support the release of high quality data, and the use of it for development outcomes. Initiatives often target work at the local community level to enhance local engagement and capacity. This work also aims to promote and facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing among leading open data innovators working around the world.
OD4D provides support to government leaders and data champions to develop and implement open data programmes and policies. For example, in Latin America, our regional hub has provided support to Peru, El Salvador and Costa Rica through various stakeholders, working to guide the development of open data policies.
Through both our regional hubs and global initiatives, OD4D works to advance the innovative use of open data to address development priorities. Many activities focus on the creation of knowledge resources and tools that support efforts to apply open data across a range of thematic sectors.
OD4D supports a range of research activities to both advance innovative thinking and the development of best practices around the use of open data, including case studies, open data principles and standards, and the State of Open Data.
OD4D works to document the impact of open data, especially on sustainable development. Examples include global measurement activities, such as the Open Data Barometer and the Open Data Impact Map.
Open Data for Development (OD4D) works primarily through a network of 6 regional hubs:
A key element of the OD4D Network’s current work is to build the institutional capacity of these regional hubs and to help consolidate their own networks, while, at the same time, harvesting their support for global initiatives that advance the global open data and data for development agendas.