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.
In phase III, OD4D prioritizes activities that contribute to 5 outcomes:
OD4D explores data-driven tools, practices, and policies that enable inclusive leadership and political influence, focusing on driving gender equality and empowering women.
OD4D supports action research and data-driven innovations in the Global South to capture how data initiatives contribute to the achievement of development outcomes such as anti-corruption, transparency, gender equality, education, health systems, climate change, and more.
OD4D designs and scales data literacy initiatives that help build digital skills for women, youth, and other groups to take advantage of new economic opportunities emerging from open data initiatives. The program also tests the effectiveness of ongoing data capacity and literacy initiatives for policy-makers and public servants with a focus on understanding how different effective training models work.
The program supports southern voices and participation in data policy-making globally, including the 2022 International Open Data Conference in Nairobi and regional workshops that convene policy-makers, civil society, and technical experts in Latin America, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa on data governance.
OD4D supports the regional hubs and partners to identify sustainable resources and investments, while building capacity and expertise to explore and implement projects integrating gender equality and other intersectional issues
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.