By Monika Shepard — August 12, 2014.
If a tool is not specifically designed as an “Open Data Tool” can it help advance the open data movement? As a member of Global Integrity’s Indaba team – an expert research collection and collaboration tool – I feel trapped by this question. At the Open Knowledge Festival 2014, I was plagued by other questions too such as, “how is Indaba opening up data?” and, “isn’t Indaba an open data tool?”
While Indaba is not explicitly an open data tool, it fills a valuable void by allowing small or large teams to collect important information based on the requirements set by the group for their project. Indaba encourages organization by making data sets easily available in reusable formats.
The majority of the organizations currently using Indaba to work on improving transparency and accountability; however, Indaba is agnostic of all research methodologies and can be applied for any research purpose. Research collection projects currently on Indaba include:
International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey
World Resources Institute/The Access Initiative’s Environmental Democracy Index
Global Integrity’s Money Politics and Transparency Project
Mo Ibrahim and Global Integrity’s Africa Integrity Indicators
The Mexican Institute for Competitiveness projects on budget and judicial transparency
The Carter Center’s IAT Pilot
Transparency International UK’s Government Defence Anti-corruption Index
In the coming months, as we continue to grow Indaba’s robust ecosystem, we will continue to speak with others within the non-profit and social sector to better understand how technology is adopted, implemented and maintained. Stay tuned and look for future Indaba events in September on this topic located at the OpenGov Hub and blog posts co-posted as part of Transparency and Accountability Initiative’s Bridging Transparency and Technology Series.
We are also, exploring the idea of building a community of people who are interested in using this data for further data analysis and outreach activities. As a first step, we are wondering if organizations see a need to create a public facing repository of all of the research collected in Indaba. By doing so, we hope to allow people to have access to data points collected by many organizations on various topics within one place. If you have thoughts on this, let’s talk through @getindaba or [email protected].
Photo Credit: Justin Grimes (Flickr: Creative Commons)