Open Knowledge International receives $1.5 million from Omidyar Network

We’ve recently received funding from Omidyar Network, which will allow us to further our commitment to civil society organisations!

Open Knowledge International has received a two-year grant amounting to $1.5 million from Omidyar Network to support the development and implementation of our new civil society-focused strategy. Running until the end of December 2018, this grant reflects Omidyar Network’s confidence in our shared vision to progress openness in society and we are looking forward to using the funds to strengthen the next phase of our work.

With over a decade’s experience opening up information, we will be turning our attention and efforts to focus on realising the potential of data for society. The unrestricted nature of the funding will help us to build on the successes of our past, work with new partners and implement effective systems to constructively address the challenges before us.

2017 certainly presents new challenges to the open data community. Increased access to information simply is not enough to confront a shrinking civic space, the stretched capacities of NGOs, and countless social and environmental issues. Open Knowledge International is looking to work with new partners on these areas to use open data as an effective tool to address society’s most pressing issues. Omidyar Network’s support will allow us to work in more strategic ways, to develop relationships with new partners and to embed our commitment to civil society across the organisation.

Pavel Richter, Open Knowledge International’s CEO, underlines the impact that this funding will have on the organisation’s continued success: “Given the expertise Open Knowledge International has amassed over the years, we are eager to employ our efforts to ensure open data makes a real and positive impact in the world. Omidyar Network’s support for the next two years will allow us to be much more strategic and effective with how we work.”

Of course implementing our strategic vision will take time. Long-term funding relationships like the one we have with Omidyar Network play an instrumental role in boosting Open Knowledge International’s capacity as they provide the space to stabilise and grow. For the past six years, Omidyar Network has been an active supporter of Open Knowledge International, and this has allowed us to cultivate and refine the strong vision we have today. More recently Omidyar Network has provided valuable expertise for our operational groundwork, helping to instil a suitable structure for us to thrive. Furthermore, our shared vision of the transformative impact of openness has allowed us to scale our community and grow our network of committed change-makers and activists around the world.

“We are proud to continue our support for Open Knowledge International, which plays a critical role in the open data ecosystem,” stated Martin Tisné, Investment Partner at Omidyar Network. “Open Knowledge International has nurtured several key developments in the field, including the Open Definition, CKAN and the School of Data, and we look forward to working with Open Knowledge International as it rolls out its new civil society-focused strategy.”

As we continue to chart our direction, Open Knowledge International’s work will focus on three areas to unlock the potential value of open data for civil society organisations: we will demonstrate the value of open data for the work of these organisations, we will provide organisations with the tools and skills to effectively use open data, and we will work to make government information systems more responsive to the needs of civil society. Omidyar Network’s funding ensures Open Knowledge International has the capacity to address these three areas. We are grateful for the support and we welcome our new strategic focus to empower civil society organisations to use open data to improve people’s lives.


Further information:

Open Knowledge International
www.okfn.org

Open Knowledge International is a global non-profit organisation focused on realising open data’s value to society by helping civil society groups access and use data to take action on social problems. Open Knowledge International does this in three ways: 1) we show the value of open data for the work of civil society organizations; 2) we provide organisations with the tools and skills to effectively use open data; and 3) we make government information systems responsive to civil society.

Omidyar Network 

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.

To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com, and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork

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