People — Facilitating Access to Experts
The process of making KODI possible benefited from an established network of resources within the open data ecosystem. With the launch of its Open Data Initiative, Kenya became the first African nation to join the Open Government Partnership, a global alliance of governments dedicated to opening government information to the public, via the Internet and mobile phones.
Despite the relative youth of the open data movement, experiences of initiatives like Data.gov afforded KODI the opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of a growing Open Government Data Community. Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA) initiatives, such as the (a group of 30 CIOs from developing countries) and the New Knowledge Partnerships group (involving the World eGovernment Organization and the governments of Singapore, Belgium, Korea and other countries) are acting as resources for KODI.
Tools — Implementing the Solution
In order to be relevant and useful, KODI must not only provide access to public data, but ensure that its data is of a high quality. To that end, the World Bank STATCAP program- an initiative for improving statistical systems in developing nations--was a resource for Kenyan officials as they worked to diversify and improve available KODI datasets.
The ODTA views the open data portal as a tool for creating more tools--an approach that has created a wave of enthusiasm among local Kenyan developers to implement KODI data in innovative ways. One examples is the project Eduweb, a resource using Ministry of Education data from KODI’s Open Data Portal to help parents select schools for their children. The Government of Kenya has also launched a to provide awards to entrepreneurs who harness KODI’s information to provide products for citizens.
Beyond Open Data
The Kenya Open Data Initiative is expected to promote creativity and enterprise, creating new markets and products in a thriving civil society. Supported through a $114.4 million World Bank Transparency and Communications Infrastructure project, the release of public information will continue to empower citizens, enabling them to hold governments accountable through ICT innovation.