The Open Knowledge Foundation has a keen interest in opening up data on international development – from our international development panel at OKCon 2009, to our recent report on unlocking aid information, to our working group on open knowledge in development.

Hence we are delighted to be co-organising the Aid Information Challenge, along withAid Info, Publish What You Fund, Rewired State and the Guardian.


The Aid Information Challenge will look at ways in which open data on international development can be reused — allowing users to explore, analyse and visually represent the data. We hope to create a series of short films showcasing the best ideas for new web applications and services.

The details for the event are as follows:

Further information from the Guardian:

On 10 April we will be assembling innovative data analysts, developers and designers from around the UK at the Guardian offices in London. We hope to collectively develop a range of interesting stories, innovative apps, useful tools and powerful visualisations that demonstrate what the future of aid transparency needs to look like.

The campaign’s principles aim to serve donors, recipients and civil society to improve the fight against poverty through greater data transparency:

  1. Information on aid should be published pro-actively
  2. Information on aid should be comprehensive, timely, accessible and comparable
  3. Everyone has the right to request and receive information about aid
  4. The right of access to information about aid should be promoted

If aid is to be effective, efficient, accountable and participatory, it needs to be transparent. Without it, it’s impossible to even begin to assess how aid is spent, let alone how it should be spent.

We have access to several interesting and varied datasets for the event including AidData, The World Bank, DfID and many others. Some are posted on the event site. More are being added as we confirm access.

The day will be fuelled by datasets from these and other organisations, caffeine, food and good will. For the analysts, developers and data visualisers participating in this event, it will be an opportunity to help set the global agenda for greater aid transparency.

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

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