Open Data for Development (OD4D): Action Plan Commitment 4


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Lead implementing department(s)
International Development Research Centre
Open Data
Reporting period

End-of-term (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016)



Work together with developing countries to harness the potential of open data to enhance accountability, create new solutions for delivery of public services, and create new economic opportunities around the world.

Deliverables Status / Final Results Lessons Learned Completion Level

Build the capacity of the open data initiatives in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, and establish important partnerships with the open data movement in Canada:

  • Support developing countries as they plan and execute national open data initiatives;
  • Develop international data standards and solution-driven networks that can help to bring about social and economic innovation;
  • Measure and evaluate the relationship between open data initiatives and socioeconomic development, informing the quality and reach of future open data initiatives.

The OD4D Network has significantly expanded due to enhanced capacity and resources, and will continue to grow past into the next action plan cycle. As was reported in the last update, four hubs are in full operation, including the Latin America Open Data Initiative (ILDA), Open Data in East Europe and Central Asia (ODECA), the Caribbean Open Institute (COI), and the Open Data Lab Jakarta in Asia. Building on existing open data work in Africa, plans are underway to launch the African Open Data hub for October 2016. The OD4D Network has provided technical support to at least 7 countries, including Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Peru and Jamaica.

Funds provided under the OD4D initiative have also supported a number of additional activities around the world, including:

  • Launch of the 3rd edition of the Open Data Barometer in .
  • Consulting on and supporting the development of the Open Data Charter;
  • Creation of a Leaders Network of Open Data Advocates to support the development and implementation of open data policies;
  • Development of 7 studies on good practices and support for open data applications in health, agriculture, cities, parliaments and education;
  • Continued Development of the Open Data Impact Map, a database with more than 2000 uses of open data.
  • OD4D is also supporting the development of international standards for open data, and is funding the development of "sector packages" for the International Open Data Charter.

OD4D made some inroads into connecting with various Canadian open data communities at the International Open Data Conference, at the 2016 Open Data Day and at other initiatives across the country. OD4D has supported research from OpenNorth and other organizations.

Successful capacity building in open data takes time. In regions where OD4D have been operating for longer periods, such as Latin America, significant strides have been made in terms of implementing open data initiatives, and realizing the benefit of those initiatives for socioeconomic development (as measured by the Open Data Barometer) and in creating successful innovations.

Issues with capacity can slow down planned initiatives – for example, limited partner capacity delayed the implementation of the planned African Open Data hub for nearly a year. The hub, which will build on the prior activities conducted in Africa, will help to better coordinate funding and ensure support for both governments and civil society in creating and using open data.

Focusing on enabling the use of open data in sectoral initiatives and innovations (and their enabling environments) can help to realize significant socio-economic development. However, high level open data initiatives remain a crucial part of the implementation process.

Assessing and benchmarking the impact of open data initiatives around the world will remain crucial for assessing the efficacy and quality of such initiatives in both Canada and the world. Beyond 2016, OD4D hopes to ensure that benchmarking activities such as the Open Data Barometer and Open Data Impact map can cross-reference to create a fuller picture of supply and demand for open data initiatives.

Sustainable funding for open data initiatives is crucial to ensure the ongoing impact of open data.


Host an International Open Data Conference in 2015 to bring together experts from around the world to share knowledge and experience to strengthen international collaboration on open government issues.

Canada hosted the 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa, Ontario on - .

  • The 2015 IODC was a truly global event with over 1,000 participants from 56 countries, 58 panels and workshops, ten parallel tracks, over 200 speakers, and more than 15 pre- and post-conference events over 9 days.
  • A number of key outcomes were realized through IODC 2015, including the launch of consultations on an International Open Data Charter which is a set of foundational principles for open data policies.

The conference outcome document outlines the International Open Data Roadmap, which provides lines of international collaboration until IODC 2016.

OD4D is implementing lessons learned in the development of IODC 2016 in Madrid as OD4D was made a permanent co-host, a decision that recognizes the important contributions of the Government of Canada to the open data agendas.


Additional Deliverables Beyond the Action Plan

The World Bank and Global Affairs Canada have also invested resources and funding into the OD4D program, helping to expand the technical assistance, scale up of global applications and the coordination among open data standard groups.

OD4D supported the development of the African Data Consensus, a product of the High Level Conference on the Data Revolution in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in . OD4D is supporting the International Open Data Charter initiative, focusing particularly on the development of the Resource Centre and the coordination with the OD4D initiatives in the regions.


Supports the principles of transparency and civic participation, and is targeted at helping address the OGP Grand Challenges of improving public services, increasing public integrity, and increasing corporate accountability by establishing a broader knowledge base for the benefits of open data and supporting implementation of open data initiatives in developing countries around the world.


Supports the global and regional efforts of governments, civil society organizations, and entrepreneurs harnessing open data to achieve development outcomes, and enriches the international sharing of open data solutions and best practices.

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