Demonstrating the Importance of Open Data for Developing Countries

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October 08, 2014

Guest blogger : Michael Roberts

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Open Data for Development Research Grants, and we are looking for your proposals.

Since the launch of the Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) Open Data Working Group in 2013, we at the Web Foundation  have been pleased and proud to serve alongside Canada as co-chairs. This working group has been hard at work supporting governments in implementing their Open Data commitments, developing more ambitious action plans, and encouraging collaboration between civil society organizations and governments around the world.

In support of these goals, the OGP Open Data Working Group is undertaking a new funding initiative entitled Open Data for Development (OD4D).

Under this new initiative, the Working Group will provide a total of $200,000 in funding over the next year to support a number of short-term, intensive research projects exploring the technical and practical implications of Open Data. These grants will be administered by the Web Foundation and supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Initially, the grants will support research projects to take place between November 2014 and March 2015. Any group or individual around the world is invited to apply.

Through our working group’s initial work and outreach efforts, we have learned that, while there is an active, thriving international Open Data community, many governments and civil society organizations often lack the information and tools they need. OD4D gives us an exciting opportunity to support projects that will demonstrate the importance of Open Data for developing countries, and will set out best practices for creating ambitious, effective Open Data programs in countries around the world.

The Call for Proposals for OD4D can be found at the Open Data Working Group’s new website. Proposals should make a case for how the research will serve to deepen or inform work outlined in the 2014-2015 Workplan of the OGP Open Data Working Group.

In particular, proposals should support or advance the Open Data Working Group’s goals in each of the four work streams:  Principles, Standards, Measurement, and Capacity Building.

Research proposals must be submitted via the link above by midnight (EST) on Friday, October 24, 2014.

We hope many of you will show your support for Open Data by applying for funding through the OD4D initiative, or by forwarding this link to your Open Government contacts and networks. The OD4D grants represent a fantastic opportunity to help empower the experts, advocates, civil society organizations, and governments that are already working to make data more open and accessible to citizens around the world.

-- Michael Roberts, The Web Foundation

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