It happened a few times along our journey that we met researchers participating in a project called ODDC: Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries. We wanted to know more about it by talking to Tim Davies, open data research coordinator at the Web Foundation which hosts the Open Data Research network, as a platform for the project.
Created few years ago, the Open Data Research network is a collaboration between the Web Foundation and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Its goals are to connect worldwide researchers working in the field of Open Data and to share results and methodologies, generating a rich documentation about this new field. A challenging initiative since Open Data, due to its novelty, is actually in need of academic literature.
Launched through a call of proposals mid 2012, the ODDC project counts today with researchers from 17 projects across 12 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia who, after been selected, got funds allocated for the realisation of the programme. Being member of this international and multidisciplinary initiative consists both in reporting on the implementation of Open Data mechanisms (at national or local levels) and participating in regular online and face-to-face meet-ups. From the beginning, the funding has been limited for the length of the project (2013-2015) and the need to build a sustainable environment has always been considered. That’s why the Open Data Research network has worked all these years on strengtheningthe community and conceiving a valuable research methodology at the same time.
As Tim shared with us, ODDC soon reaches its next milestone where reports will be finished and the outcome synthesized. Also, this will be the time to think about how the gathered documentation can be exposed and to define future steps. There are already plenty of useful reports available on the website. We definitely invite you to have a look in the research list and experience the ongoing updates. Not to forget other interesting projects run by the Open Data Research network such as the Open Data Barometer.