Open Knowledge International and the Open Data for Development program are pleased to announce the seven projects that have been shortlisted to receive support from the Africa Open Data Collaboration Fund (AODC Fund)*. The AODC Fund is a partnership with the organisers of the First Africa Open Data Conference and it was designed to provide seed support to empower Africa’s emerging open data civic entrepreneurs to build their data communities, to improve the delivery of services to citizens, and to achieve sustainable development global goals.
The Africa Open Data Collaboration Fund intends to provide between USD 10,000 and USD 15,000 to each one of the initiatives. In this final, non-competitive, phase , these initiatives will further develop their work plans and explore how to leverage the OD4D network to advance their initiatives.
The grants will be coordinated by Open Knowledge as part of the Open Data for Development program, a global partnership funded by the International Development Research Centre, the World Bank, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Global Affairs Canada. OD4D brings together a network of leading open data partners working together to harness the potential of open data initiatives to enhance transparency and accountability as well as facilitate public service delivery and citizen participation in developing countries. The overall goal of the OD4D program is to scale innovative approaches that have been proven to work, and strengthen coordination amongst open data initiatives to ensure they benefit citizens in developing countries.
The shortlisted initiatives are:
- CoST Tanzania, Tanzania: Tanzania is implementing programmes to improve service delivery in a wider variety of sectors such as education, health, water and transportation with a number of programmes involving the construction of facilities and other forms of infrastructure. However, stakeholders complain about the poor quality of infrastructure, often alluding to corruption and lack of accountability. Through the AODC Fund, CoST TZ will work to address this challenge by advocating for transparency in procurement of infrastructure projects through the disclosure of contracts information, by building the capacity of Procuring Entities (PEs) to disclose information and by sensitising key stakeholders, especially CSOs, to use disclosed data to hold authorities accountable.
- AfroLeadership, Cameroon: This project seeks to fight corruption, improve local accountability and ensure effective service delivery by collecting and publishing approved budgets and accounts for all local authorities in Cameroon on the OpenSpending Cameroon platform. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the data made available is taken up and used to hold government to account, AfroLeadership will work to strengthen the capacity of journalists and civil society actors to understand budget data by providing a number of offline trainings and developing online resources and courses, all in collaboration with School of Data and the international OpenSpending team at Open Knowledge International.
- Outbox, Uganda: The rapidly expanding capital of Uganda, is experiencing some obvious growing pains and while the current administration is doing their best to increase the living conditions of the inhabitants through beautification efforts, road and transportation projects etc, it remains obvious that Kampala’s environment is suffering. This project aims to make these challenges visible through data and allow the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and other stakeholders more effectively manage the impact of an ever-growing population through data-driven policies and projects. Outbox, in collaboration with the Things Network in Amsterdam, will develop an environment station to measures different environmental indicators such as temperature, air pressure, humidity, sound, ultrasound and light, install three stations and publish their measurements online in real time. Outbox will then take our data and advocate with it directly at Kampala City Council and other stakeholders and show them how they can use the data we publish in doing their daily work.
- The Association of Freelance Journalists, Kenya: While sectors such as education, health, buisness and the environment are of critical importance to the people of Kenya and there is a substantial amount of data available that could be used to tell compelling stories about the challenges Kenya is facing in these sectors, at present, journalists still lack the capacity to use the data effectively for storytelling. As such, the AFJ will lead a project to unpack data journalism in Kenya by building the capacity of Kenyan journalists to use data and assist journalists in producing data driven stories.
- HeHe Labs, Rwanda: HeHe is a mobile technologies research and innovation lab with the vision to transform Africa into a knowledge society by connecting its people to relevant information and services. Their mission is to leverage the growth in ICTs by building meaningful mobile technology solutions for the African continent. Through this project, HeHe Labs will work to improve service delivery in all sectors through a six month training programme designed to train young people how to use technology to solve local challenges.
- Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria: Many problems have bedevilled the local government budgeting in Nigeria. This project will specifically evaluate the causes of failure in the local government areas and how effective budget control bring about efficient governance in the local government systems.
- Press Union of Liberia, Liberia: There is a severe limitation of data that the ordinary people can access in Liberia. Through this project, a select team of journalists will be trained in data journalism, and a lesser number of community radio stations – in rural Liberia – will be provided computers, cameras and digital recorders to expand their programs through the use of social media. The journalists will learn to access links to a variety of data and to upload local data sources to a web portal operated by the Press Union of Liberia.
The Open Data for Development is looking forward to collaborating with all the grant recipients in 2016!
*The grants are pending on the expected renewal of the partnership between the International Development Research Centre and the World Bank Development Grant Facility for the third year of the OD4D Program.