Open Data in Developing Economies: Toward Building an Evidence Base on What Works and How

New book by Stefaan Verhulst and Andrew Young: “Recent years have witnessed considerable speculation about the potential of open data to bring about wide-scale transformation. The bulk of existing evidence about the impact of open data, however, focuses on high-income countries. Much less is known about open data’s role and value in low- and middle-income countries, and more generally about its possible contributions to economic and social development.

Open Data in Developing Economies features in-depth case studies on how open data is having an impact across Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 5.41.30 AMthe developing world-from an agriculture initiative in Colombia to data-driven healthcare
projects in Uganda and South Africa to crisis response in Nepal. The analysis built on these case studies aims to create actionable intelligence regarding:

(a) the conditions under which open data is most (and least) effective in development, presented in the form of a Periodic Table of Open Data;

(b) strategies to maximize the positive contributions of open data to development; and

(c) the means for limiting open data’s harms on developing countries.


“An empirically grounded assessment that helps us move beyond the hype that greater access to information can improve the lives of people and outlines the enabling factors for open data to be leveraged for development.”-Ania Calderon, Executive Director, International Open Data Charter

“This book is compulsory reading for practitioners, researchers and decision-makers exploring how to harness open data for achieving development outcomes. In an intuitive and compelling way, it provides valuable recommendations and critical reflections to anyone working to share the benefits of an increasingly networked and data-driven society.”-Fernando Perini, Coordinator of the Open Data for Development (OD4D) Network, International Development Research Centre, Canada

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