The widespread acclaim for open data has produced a variety of definitions, standards, advice, and platforms for implementing open data programs by governments at the national and subnational level and by international agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector. "Hackathons" and "boot camps" have been organized to create applications for data derived from open sources and, not incidentally, to provide feedback on the quality, accessibility, and potential utility of those sources. But these efforts remain disconnected.
Creating a Knowledge Center
As developing countries, especially the poorest and most resource-constrained, move to open their databases and improve the quality of their official statistics, it is important that they and their development partners have access to successful models and expert advice. But in the rapidly changing arena of open development data, organizing, synthesizing, and sharing common knowledge has become an imposing task. Open Data Watch proposes to create an Open Development Data Knowledge Center that will provide open access to a dynamic catalog of existing information sources, events, and open data initiatives, along with news bulletins and original articles highlighting new developments and links to experts, tools, and sources of financial support. The Knowledge Center will, to the extent possible, build on existing information, fill gaps where needed, and address the needs of different audiences with a special focus on national statistical offices and development practitioners.
Building formal and informal connections with groups active in development data and open data is a critical part of the work of Open Data Watch. The founders of Open Data Watch, with their extensive experience in improving the quality of development statistics, know and recognize the importance of effective partnerships to bring together the ideas and resources needed to solve the complex problems of development. Open Data Watch is committed to sharing experience and working as a practical partner with national statistical offices, civil society organizations, bilateral donors, international financial institutions, and the specialized agencies of the United Nations to fill critical gaps in data, procedures, and knowledge.